Monday, November 14, 2022

Roberta Flack Reveals ALS has Robber Her of Ability to Sing

Roberta Flack, the Grammy-Award-winning songwriter known for hits like “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," can no longer sing.

Flack's manager Suzanne Koga announced the news on Monday, sharing that the 85-year-old has been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The progressive disease “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak," Koga said in a press release. “But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

The statement did not reveal when Flack originally received the diagnosis, but it did say that she would not allow it to end her career.

"Miss Flack plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits," it continued. "Her fortitude and joyful embrace of music that lifted her from modest circumstances to the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspired."

This is the latest medical setback for Flack. She suffered a stroke in 2016 that kept her from performing for an extended time. She was still feeling the effects of it as late as 2018 when she fell ill while performing at the Apollo Theater and was rushed to the hospital.

Flack was the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in consecutive years with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (1973) and "Killing Me Softly with His Song" (1974) and has won four awards on 13 nominations. She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

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