William Guest, best known as a member of Gladys Knight and the Pips, passed away in Detroit last week. Guest’s family confirmed that the 74-year-old singer died on Christmas Eve from congestive heart failure, reports the Associated Press. “My heart is broken, but I know his legacy will live on," his daughter Monique said.
A native of Atlanta, Guest called Detroit home for the last five decades. He co-founded the Pips in 1953 along with cousins Gladys Knight, her brother and sister Bubba and Brenda and Guest's sister, Eleanor. Brenda and Elanor were later replaced by Langston George and Edward Patten, another cousin.
The Pips signed to Motown in 1964, remaining with the label for close to a decade before heading to Buddha Records. Guest performed background vocals on some of The Pips’ classic hits, including the 1973 Grammy-winning 1973 single “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and would remain a member throughout the duration of the group.
After the Pips disbanded in the late ‘80s, Guest and Patten formed their own production company, Patten and Guest Productions. He would continue managing artists after Patten’s 2005 death.
The Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Apollo Hall of Fame a decade later.
View Knight’s touching dedication to her beloved cousin below.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)