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Kelly Rowland’s Gladys Knight Doesn’t Have Time for Your Business Pitches in This American Soul Clip

BET’s American Soul charts the creation and rise of Soul Train. In the early 1970s, Chicago DJ Don Cornelius had an idea: a program where black artists could showcase their talent and reap the benefits. In this exclusive clip from the show, Cornelius is pitching his idea to Gladys Knight (Kelly Rowland) who’s tired and irritable, and would rather be anywhere else. “I love Flip, but who owns his show? And who owns him?” Cornelius says of Flip Wilson. “I’m talking about a national television show written, produced, and owned by black folks. I’m talking about bringing us — not whitewashed, not toned down, but us — into millions of homes, like it or not.” Knight eventually relented and was one of Soul Train’s first guests. (The people, obviously, liked it a lot — Soul Train ran for 35 years and 1,117 episodes.) American Soul premieres February 5.

American Soul Clip: See Kelly Rowland As Gladys Knight