Atlanta native Gladys Knight is having a great 2019. Here’s why.

Gladys Knight is the Bee on "The Masked Singer."
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Gladys Knight is the Bee on "The Masked Singer."

Originally posted Thursday, February 28, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

R&B legend Gladys Knight is a Georgia treasure, dubbed "The Empress of Soul." Her song with the Pips "Midnight Train to Georgia" is iconic well outside of Georgia itself. Her voice, at age 74, still soars more than five decades after she had her first hit.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, though, is having an especially fruitful 2019.

- Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child fame plays Knight in the new BET series "American Soul" focused on the creation of "Soul Train" with Don Cornelius. In the first episode, which debuted earlier this month, Knight helped give "Soul Train" credibility by appearing on the show during a critical moment in the show's maturation.

- With the Super Bowl earlier this month in Atlanta, the organizers chose Knight to be the National Anthem singer. And she pulled the song off without a hitch.

- On Fox's hit show "The Masked Singer" Wednesday night for the finale, Knight - dressed as the Bee - came in third place. All the judges had figured out it was her but it was still an emotional moment when she took off the mask. Host Nick Cannon said she was the first famous entertainer he met and she gave him encouragement.

Cannon asked why someone of her stature would do a silly show like this?

“We should always strive to do different kinds of things because they elevate us eventually,” Knight said.

She said being in the costume was tough. She couldn't see anything and missed being able to see the audience. (T-Pain as the Monster came in first, by the way, and Donny Osmond as the Peacock was runner up.)

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