Gladys Knight to today's artists: 'You don't need to sell sex to sell music'

theGRIO VIDEO - Iconic soul singer Gladys Knight discusses her new album and sends a message to some of today's R&B singers...

Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight is back with her newly released Gospel album, Where My Heart Belongs, a collection of songs that showcases faith, soul, and unmatched vocal ability.

The seven-time Grammy Award winner has a career spanning several decades and has no plans of slowing down.

In an interview with Chris Witherspoon for, the “Empress of Soul” opened up about having “new album jitters” and also discussed the current state of the music industry.

Knight, who rose to prominence in the early 1970’s as the front-woman for the Motown sensation Gladys Knight and the Pips, opened up about some of the young artists that are attempting to break into the music business today.

“I don’t envy them, coming through the industry at this time, because it’s a totally different industry. It is money-driven. It is power-driven. They would do anything to get famous,” Knight said. “We came through with a moral value, an integrity value, and a great love for what we were doing. So it helped us to do the things that we needed to do to be better. We didn’t have to be on the cover of every magazine, we didn’t have to be doing something dramatic just to get some attention. We let our talents speak for that.”

The 70-year-old songstress undoubtedly opened doors for some of the current reigning R&B divas, including Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys. Knight says these ladies are “doing the best that they can,” but she needs female entertainers as a whole to “stand up” and do better.

“They’re doing the best that they can…. You have to look at the fame and fortune that they have…. As long as they mix in the great talent portion of it, then that’s the road they they have to take in the industry these days,” Knight said.

“But how far will you go with that? That’s what saddens my heart. We were taught to dress respectfully for our audiences … did you hear me say dress? Not take it off, put it on. I’m just disappointed with all of that. But there’s a way to present your gift…. If you’re a singer, make sure you do that.”

“I want my women to stand up.”

Click below to hear Gladys Knight talk about having new album jitters