LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — William Guest, an original member of Gladys Knight and the Pips, has died. He was 74.
Guest’s sister-in-law, Dhyana Ziegler, said he died Thursday in Detroit of congestive heart failure.
Guest performed throughout the lifespan of the Grammy-winning group from 1953 to 1989. He performed background vocals on such hits such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”
“My heart is broken, but I know his legacy will live on,” said Guest’s daughter, Monique Guest, in a statement.
Gladys Knight and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Apollo Hall of Fame in 2006.
The Pips formed in 1952. Gladys Knight, her brother Merald (aka Bubba) and their cousins William and Eleanor Guest made up the original group. Gladys Knight and the Pips had more than twenty Top 20 hits on both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Top Singles charts.
After the group ended, Guest and another member, the late Edward Patten, formed a production company. Guest later served as CEO of Crew Records. He released his autobiography “Midnight Train From Georgia: A Pips Journey” in 2013 with Ziegler.
“I am so glad we finished the book, so his wonderful life and legacy will be celebrated throughout eternity,” said Ziegler. I loved my brother so much.”
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