Steeped in the gospel tradition like so many early R&B groups, Gladys Knight & the Pips topped the Billboard R&B chart for the first time in 1961 with "Every Beat of My Heart" and later in the decade developed into one of Motown's most dependable acts, responsible for 11 Top Ten R&B hits from 1966 through 1972. The group doubled its quantity of Top Ten R&B hits with the Buddah label through 1978, forming a streak of chart-toppers off the gold-selling album Imagination. Knight & the Pips remained together through the '80s, a period that entailed additional R&B Top Ten entries, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following decade. 

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