SALT LAKE CITY – Gladys Knight (search) wasn't sitting in front of a television set watching the Grammy Awards (search). And she didn't even know she shared a gospel performance Grammy award Sunday with the late Ray Charles (search) for their duet, "Heaven Help Us All," until there was a break in church services.
"My bishop came up to me in between them and said, 'You won! You won!' I was so surprised," she said Monday in Salt Lake City while promoting her new CD, "One Voice," a collection of hymns and gospel classics.
"Any time your peers give you an award, there's a feeling of satisfaction, but this one was awesome for what we did. I know Ray is an icon in many lives, but he's certainly one in mine," she said.
Knight spent Sunday night in Las Vegas, where her fireside church sessions are so popular with fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that they have been divided into two programs.
Knight, a Mormon convert, has taken her cause for peppier church songs to the top, including LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley. "He told me to make it happen," she said.
It's not done with any irreverence, she said. But there are two sides to feeling the spirit.
"We Mormons cry at the drop of a hat because we feel the spirit. But if it can make you cry, it should also make you so happy that you want to clap your hands or tap your foot," Knight said.