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Gladys Knight Honored by Her Home State

June 11, 2015
Gladys Knight speaking to a crowd

Midnight Train to Georgia. I Wish It Would Rain. Chicken and Waffles.

Just a few things that make Georgia native Gladys Knight shine far and wide. People recognize her name, face and voice all over the world.

Georgians gathered to honor Ms. Gladys Tuesday at the State Capitol in downtown Atlanta. At this ceremony, Fulton County proclaimed June 9, 2015 as Gladys Knight Appreciation Day. Then the Georgia General Assembly presented her with SR 441, dedicating part of State Route 9 (Spring Street and West Peachtree Street from 14th Street to Peachtree Street) as Gladys Knight Highway. Her home city, county and state loves her.

A True Georgia Treasure

A singer, actress, entrepreneur and Atlanta native, Ms. Gladys has accomplished more than most of us ever will. Combined. But that’s not what she wants us to think. She believes in everyone.

“I am not just happy for me, but I am happy for all of us,” she told the room full of fans. While she spoke, everyone bounced up and down trying to get their own picture of the Empress of Soul. When we drive down that road and pass her name on the sign, she wants us to look up at it and think, “We can do it too.”

As she talked to the crowd, Ms. Gladys showed great passion for the children of Georgia and the world. She stressed that she made it without negative influences such as drugs and profanity. There’s always a choice. She was able to break through, so you can too. No matter if you’re old, young, black or white.

Sen. Donzella James and Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas worked during the 2015 session to get SR 441 passed. Both spoke Tuesday about how much Ms. Gladys means to them and the respectable symbol she represents for Georgia.

“We should honor our hometown heroes and sheroes first and foremost,” Sen. James told everyone in the Georgia Senate Chamber on Tuesday. “And there’s this wonderful international star, a legend, a songstress, an author, a businesswoman, and the list goes on and on of the accolades that I could give her right now. But more than anything else, she’s a wonderful human being and a Georgian! A real Georgia Peach!”

Photo Courtesy of the Senate Press Office

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.