William Guest, Member of Gladys Knight and the Pips, Dead at 74

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Guest, left, with the rest of the group in 1973. © Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

William Guest, who was a member of the legendary soul group Gladys Knight and the Pips, has died at 74. The Associated Press reports that the singer, who performed background vocals from 1953 until the group disbanded in 1989, died in Detroit on Thursday of congestive heart failure, according to Guest's sister-in-law, Dhyana Ziegler. Guest, along with the rest of Gladys Night and the Pips, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Apollo Hall of Fame in 2006. The group was known for its hits such as "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Heard It Through the Grapevine."

In addition to being a founding member of the group, Guest was also Knight's cousin, while other members included Knight’s brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousin Edward Patten. After the group disbanded, Guest and the Patten formed a production company, Patten and Guest Productions. After that, Guest served as CEO of Crew Entertainment, which he managed with members of Patten's family. In 2013, Guest released an autobiography, Midnight Train to Georgia: A Pip's Journey, which he co-authored with his wife. "My heart is broken, but I know his legacy will live on," Guest's daughter, Monique Guest, said in a statement after his death.