Latter-day Saint Life

Latter-day Saint Gladys Knight receives the National Medal of Arts in Washington, DC

The awards keep coming for the 78-year-old Empress of Soul.

Throughout her celebrated career, Latter-day Saint Gladys Knight has won seven Grammys and been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And just in the last four months, she has been presented with two more incredible awards: A Kennedy Center Honor and, earlier this week, the National Medal of Arts.

Knight was one of seven notable figures to receive a National Medal of Arts from President Joe Biden on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at the White House in Washington, DC. Her award came alongside honors for fellow artists Bruce Springsteen and “Feliz Navidad” singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano. According to, The National Medal of Arts is “the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government.”

“The National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy through their lifelong passionate commitment,” National Endowment for the Arts chair Maria Rosario Jackson said in a statement. “We are a better nation because of their contributions. Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognize our common humanity. I join the president in congratulating and thanking them.”

In December 2022, the Empress of Soul was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

“I’m humbled beyond words to be included amongst this prestigious group of individuals, both past and present,” Knight said of her Kennedy Center Honor back in December. “You could never have told me as a young girl starting my career that I would be honored on a stage such as this, with artists and humanitarians such as these—it just wouldn’t have seemed possible. … I have been blessed with so much in my life and this certainly stands with those achievements at the top of that list. To be honored as a Kennedy Center Honoree is among the highlights of my career. I stand here with my fans, my family, my friends, my team, and my faith in accepting such an amazing distinction. It is dedicated to all those who paved the path for me to be able to accomplish the wonderful blessings I’ve been able to receive.”

You can read more about her Kennedy Center Honors ceremony here.

► You may also like: How Gladys Knight became a Latter-day Saint

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