william guest

*William Guest, one of the original members of Gladys Knight and the Pips, has passed away at the age of 74.

According to Guest’s sister-in-law, Dhyana Ziegler, he died Thursday (Dec. 24) in Detroit of congestive heart failure.

Guest was a member of the Grammy winning group from 1953 to 1989. He performed background vocals on hits such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

“My heart is broken, but I know his legacy will live on,” said Guest’s daughter, Monique Guest, in a statement.

Gladys Knight and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Apollo Hall of Fame in 2006.

gladys knight-and-the-pips

Gladys Knight and the Pips (Clockwise: William Guest,Merald ‘Bubba’ Knight, Edward Patten & Gladys Knight)

After his stint with The Pips, he and fellow Pip Edward Patten formed Patten and Guest Productions, and following Patten’s death in 2005, he continued to manage artists though the Crew Entertainment company he formed with members of Patten’s family, according to Wikipedia.

“I am so glad we finished the book, so his wonderful life and legacy will be celebrated throughout eternity,” Ziegler said. “I loved my brother so much.”

With the death of Guest on Thursday and Edward Patten in 2005, the only remaining Pip is Gladys Knight’s brother, Merald “Bubba” Knight.