Mickey Guyton Salutes Gladys Knight at Kennedy Center Honors [Watch]
Several notable artists were honored at the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors, which aired on CBS on Wednesday (Dec. 28). One of those in the spotlight was Gladys Knight, who received several musical tributes including a performance from Mickey Guyton.
The "Better Than You Left Me" singer delivered a powerful cover of Knight's song "The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." Jim Weatherly wrote the song, which Ray Price released as a country song in 1973, just one year before the Empress of Soul put her R&B spin on it.
Guyton's strong vocals certainly did the song justice:
Knight has served as one of Guyton's career inspirations. Backstage after the performance, she said it's Knight's voice and energy that have had the biggest impact on her. She also admitted singing in front of her idol made her nervous.
“It was such an emotional moment for me, because I love Gladys so much,” she confessed. “Singing such an iconic song, that was really nerve-wracking. But then when I just looked at her, and sang it to her, it kind of helped with the nerves. We air-hugged at the end. It was just beautiful.”
In addition to Guyton's tribute, several other artists took the stage to perform some of Knight's biggest hits. Garth Brooks — a previous Kennedy Center Honors recipient — performed "Midnight Train to Georgia," and Ariana DeBose sang "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."
Celebrating its 45th year, the Kennedy Center Honors also highlighted the careers of Amy Grant, George Clooney, Tania Leon and U2.