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Gladys Knight to perform at White House Sunday night

Published: Friday, Feb. 25 2011 3:19 p.m. MST

White House press secretary Jay Carney announced today that Gladys Knight will perform for President Obama Sunday at the 2011 Governors' Dinner.

In a C-Span video of the press briefing posted on RealClearPolitics.com, Carney's announcement drew some good-natured laughter when a reporter asked, "Are the Pips coming?"

Carney rolled with the lighthearted question: "I will ask about the Pips."

Knight has strong ties to Utah. She joined the Utah-based Mormon Church in 1997 and was the headline act on a CD produced for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Knight has performed repeatedly with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, including as the headline guest singer with the choir at the first of the choir's wildly popular annual Christmas concerts in 2000.

Knight, 66, formed the Pips when she was 8, according to Biography.com. The group included her brother Merald (Bubba) and sister, Brenda, and two cousins, William and Elenor Guest.

The Internet Movie Database says they got the name The Pips from their manager, James Pips Wood. Group members came and went, but soon it was known by a new name, one that became an icon in the music industry Gladys Knight and the Pips.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

This isn't the first time Knight has performed at the White House, either. Here is a video of Knight singing "Make Yours a Happy Home" at the White House for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

e-mail: twalch@desnews.com

White House press briefing regarding Gladys Knight, at the 49:19 mark.

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