Gladys Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips has been married four times and given birth to three children. In 1960, Knight married her high school sweetheart, James Newman. Gladys gave birth to their son, James (1962–1999). She retired from the road to raise the child while The Pips toured on their own. After giving birth in 1963 to a daughter, Kenya, Knight returned to recording with the Pips in order to support her family. Newman and Knight divorced in 1973. She lived in Detroit neighborhood (Sherwood Forest), and her children attended Gesu Catholic Grade School. She married producer and Blackground Records founder Barry Hankerson, who is the uncle of the late R&B singer Aaliyah, in 1974. They had one son, Shanga Hankerson, and divorced in 1981. She married motivational speaker Les Brown in 1995, but they separated and divorced in 1997. Also in 1997, she was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormons"), following her son and daughter. Knight married current husband, William McDowell, in 2001. They have sixteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Knight guest-starred on several television series throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with roles on Benson, The Jeffersons, A Different World, Living Single, The Jamie Foxx Show and New York Undercover. In 1985, she co-starred on the CBS sitcom Charlie & Co. with comedian Flip Wilson. It lasted for one season. In April 2009, she made a special guest appearance and performed a song on Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Knight has also made a number of television cameo appearances, including Las Vegas, and 30 Rock. In 2003 She also had a short role in the hit movie, "Hollywood Homicide" starring Harrison Ford & Josh Hartnett.
Knight's son Shanga owns a chain of chicken and waffles restaurants based in Atlanta, bearing her name. Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles currently have three locations in the Atlanta area. One location was featured on the Travel Channel original series Man v. Food.
In 2008, she had a cameo in 30 Rock as the rest of the cast sang Midnight Train To Georgia.
In 2009, Knight was featured in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself and performed her song The Need To Be from the 1974 album I Feel a Song.
In 2012, Knight competed on the fourteenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Tristan MacManus. They were eliminated on April 24 after losing a "dance duel" to Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan and partner Chelsie Hightower, ironically on the show's "Motown Week".