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Gladys Knight had 3 children but one died young

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Jun 18, 2018
03:05 P.M.

Gladys Knight may look to many like a lady who has it all, but that is not true. While her career is sky-high, she has been through a heartbreaking tragedy. Still, she carries on like the strong woman we know her to be.

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Gladys Knight may look like she has it all, but she sadly doesn’t. In 1999, the star suffered a blow when her son, Jimmy Newman, died in his sleep following a heart failure. He was only 37 at the time, and so his death was unexpected, especially for the cause reported.

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The death reportedly happened at Jimmy’s Las Vegas home and since then there have been speculations of what exactly caused it. There were rumors of drug usage, while some maintained that he died of natural causes. Still, 37 is such a young age to die.

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During his lifetime, Jimmy was quite the successful manager having brought his mother’s career as far as it had gone. Included in his list of achievements was bringing to his mother’s attention the song "Jesus' Love Is Like a River," that was co-written by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. In the year he died, he helped Knight launch Many Roads, a record label that was formed to support her recent gospel album, "Many Different Roads," and other gospel artists.

Knight had her son introduced her to the Mormon faith.

“He [Jimmy] brought me to my church and I just grew immensely from his example. I am happy in my spirit for where I know for sure he is. That (death) is something we all have to go through, it’s not our time and place to dictate when, where or what, it’s not our business. It belongs to the Lord and that’s how I’ve dealt with it. I know I’ll see him again."

Sadly, Jimmy’s father, James Newman Sr., - a jazz musician from Atlanta - died at the tender age of 35 in drug-related tragedy. He and Knight were married from 1960 to 1973 and were already divorced by the time of his death.

Jimmy left behind his wife, Michelene, daughters Nastasia, and Gabrielle; and sons Rishawn, Stefan and Sterling; a sister, Kenya Jackson of Henderson; and brothers, Shanga Hankerson of Atlanta, Jomo Hankerson of New York City and Jimmy Jordan of Atlanta.

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