R&B Icon Gladys Knight Debuts Her Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection at Essence Music Festival

New Orleans – Regal class, timeless beauty and captivating style are only a few of the adjectives associated with legendary R&B icon, Gladys Knight. She has mesmerized audiences for decades with her hits, charmed us with her acting, and endeared us with her business savvy and humanitarian efforts.

Now Gladys Knight, via collaboration with the LaRoda Group and Robert Rose Jewelry, will debut her highly anticipated line, the Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection, at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, July 2 to July 4. A stunning collection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets, the Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection embodies the spirit of Knight’s soul, beauty and charm.

Combining fashion with an effort of social consciousness, the new collection includes handcrafted beads produced by West African artisans and cooperatives, as well as semi-precious elements. A portion of the sales from the Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection will go directly back to the Kumasi Women’s Cooperative in Ghana, which will be supplying some of the beads. In addition, a contest giveaway has been launched at http://www.gladysknightjewelry.com/. Entries will have the opportunity to win two weekend tickets to the Essence Music Festival or one of five jewelry prizes. All prize winners will have the opportunity to meet Gladys Knight at the Music Festival Marketplace where her jewelry will be on display and available for purchase.

Robert Rose Jewelry, based in New York, is producing the Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection. Robert Rose Jewelry can be found at leading department and specialty stores throughout the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. “We could not be happier with the stunning pieces available via the Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection,” expresses Gary Rose, CEO of Robert Rose Jewelry. “Gladys Knight has embarked on a wonderful collaborative effort to infuse social relevance with fashion. Many of the designs are beautifully crafted from recycled materials made by cooperatives and artisans in Ghana. Workers in these communities are now better able to economically sustain themselves and their families because of these types of opportunities.”

Cites Barrett LaRoda, CEO of the LaRoda Group, “From inception, this project has been a magical one. What we are bringing to the market will add a new dimension to fashion. Gladys Knight’s personal involvement in the creation and selection of her jewelry line is reflected in every detail of the project.”

“Gladys Knight now has another vehicle where she can express her appreciation to her fans. We feel her jewelry line is yet another extension of her all encompassing creativity,” adds William McDowell, VP of Shakeji Inc., and Steve Walker, VP of FreestyleMac, LLC., from Knight’s executive management team.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to continue to express my love to my fans. My jewelry is an extension of my music which is an extension of my heart and soul. To have this opportunity to employ workers in Ghana and create jewelry that is environmentally friendly while at the same time affordable, is a dream come true!” expresses Gladys Knight.

Gladys Knight will be in New Orleans from July 2 through July 4 as part of the Essence Music Festival. She will perform in concert on Saturday, July 3, 2010 and conduct a meet and greet at the Essence Marketplace on Friday, July 2, 2010.

To enter the Gladys Knight Jewelry Collection contest go to http://www.gladysknightjewelry.com .