On December 24, singer William Guest, an original member of Gladys Knight and The Pips, died of congestive heart failure, his sister-in-law Dhyana Ziegler confirmed for The Associated Press. He was 74.
My brother/brother-in-law William Guest of Gladys Knight & The Pips transitioned on Christmas Eve! RIP Bae Bro LoveU pic.twitter.com/X2nPucCO6p
Guest had been a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted group for more than 30 years from 1953 to 1989 and was a voice behind their classic hits “Heard it From the Grapevine,” “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” and “Love Overboard,” US Weekly noted. The Pips were one of the most hailed Motown R&B groups in their heyday winning numerous Grammys and accolades for the 20 plus albums they created together over their career.
After Guest, who was also Knight’s cousin, left the group, he later formed a production company with former bandmate Eddie Patten called Patten and Guest Productions. Also in 2013, Guest released his autobiography Midnight Train From Georgia: A Pips Journey, where he wrote that entertaining was in his family’s blood.
“That was our life. We talk[ed], laugh[ed, [sang] and dance[d]. As the saying goes, ‘the family that plays together, stays together.'”
After hearing news of Guest’s death, Twitter showed love and sent condolences to his family.