Gladys Knight: “Blessed” To Know Michael

51382255Singer Gladys Knight remembered her longtime friend Michael Jackson on The Early Show Friday.

Knight told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith she’s been “hanging in there” since she learned of Jackson’s death.

Knight said knew Jackson as a boy. She said she heard him for the first time as they rehearsed for a talent show at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Ill. “I heard them before I saw them, and I jumped up and I said, ‘Who is that?”‘ she remembered.

Knight said she got to know Jackson over the years; two even shared the same manager, Ron Weisner, at one point.

“Michael was shy,” she said, “And I don’t know if we really recognized that in him all of his life. As he would accept awards, it wasn’t about him being coy, it was about him being shy.”

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Pictured: Singer Gladys Knight arrives at the Legendary Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 9, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)