The Truth About Gladys Knight's Marriage

Legendary singer Gladys Knight is still going strong with her husband after more than 20 years of marriage. The "Midnight Train to Georgia" singer married William McDowell, a corporate consultant, in April 2001. According to Biography, Knight had met McDowell ten years earlier, but married him in 2001 after only three months of dating.

Knight's past relationships weren't always easy. "The Empress of Soul" was married three times before she tied the knot with McDowell, all of which ended in divorce. Knight first got married in 1960 when she was 16 after she got together with a musician named Jimmy Newman. The couple had two children before he allegedly abandoned his family due to a drug addiction. In 1974, Knight married Brian Hankerson, who also worked in the music industry. The two had a son together before they divorced in 1979. Years after that, Knight married motivational speaker Les Brown in 1995, but they split after two years together.

Despite all the heartbreak, Knight never gave up on looking for love. She told SF Gate in 2001, "Love is what makes the world go around. I know it's a big cliche to use, but it is the absolute truth." Despite their 14-year age difference, Knight has seemed to have found her forever in McDowell. The two seem inseparable, with McDowell often by Knight's side at her professional engagements. While the two never had kids, they keep busy with their 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Gladys Knight calls her husband 'the best thing that ever happened to me'

William McDowell may be singer Gladys Knight's fourth husband, but it appears he was well worth the wait. The singer gushed in a 2019 anniversary Instagram post, "My life is so much better with you in it. You're the best thing that ever happened to me." McDowell shared that sentiment on his page, frequently posting about the woman he refers to as "queen." In one Instagram with Knight, McDowell wrote, "Always making memories that will last a lifetime," and in another, he simply captioned, "Living happy."

When the two aren't gushing over each other, they're probably talking about music. Knight is, of course, a legendary singer who has won seven Grammys over her decades-long music career. And, as it turns out, McDowell dabbles in music. He released the single "Country Water" in June, and as TMZ reported, Knight lent her vocals for the chorus and had a cameo in the music video, which McDowell described as a "fun time."

The two also appear to enjoy giving back to their community together. The couple lives in McDowell's home state of North Carolina, where they have a nonprofit called the RHS Community Foundation and are working to build a community center. Recently, the couple held a COVID-19 vaccination drive. McDowell told the Citizen-Times, "We know it's important to use our names for service." With so much in common and a strong adoration for each other, it appears Knight finally found her happily ever after!