Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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James Newman, Gladys Knight’s son and manager, dies

Newman, a 22-year resident, managed his mother's career through his Newman Management Inc., one of four Knight-related companies sharing offices in Southern Nevada.

An official cause of death is pending.

This year, Newman helped his mother launch Many Roads, a specialty record label formed to support her recent gospel album, "Many Different Roads," and other gospel artists.

According to the album's media materials, Newman brought many of the songs to Knight's attention, including "Jesus' Love Is Like a River," a song co-written by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Newman was the singer's eldest child and was named after his father, Knight's late first husband. Newman's birth on Aug. 13, 1962, interrupted the fledgling career of Gladys Knight & The Pips, the singer once told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"Women weren't liberated then. It was a natural expectation that I would probably want to go be a wife and a mother, and I did want that," she said of time spent in her native Georgia away from the Pips, while the group pursued opportunities in New York.

Within a year, partly motivated by financial need, she decided to get back into show business, and the group went on to carve its place in R&B history.

Besides his mother, of Henderson; and stepfather, Barry Hankerson of California; Newman is survived by his wife, Michelene; daughters Nastasia and Gabrielle; and sons Rishawn, Stefan and Sterling; all of Las Vegas; a sister, Kenya Jackson of Henderson; and brothers, Shanga Hankerson of Atlanta, Jomo Hankerson of New York City and Jimmy Jordan of Atlanta.

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