Roberta Flack has ALS, rep says



A consultant for Roberta Flack introduced Monday that the Grammy-winning musician has ALS, generally often known as Lou Gehrig’s illness, and may not sing.

The progressive illness “has made it unimaginable to sing and never straightforward to talk,” Flack’s supervisor Suzanne Koga stated in a launch. “But it should take much more than ALS to silence this icon.”

The announcement of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis prognosis comes simply forward of the premiere of “Roberta,” a feature-length documentary debuting Thursday on the DOCNYC movie pageant.

Flack is understood for hits like “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,” the latter of which catapulted her into stardom after Clint Eastwood used it because the soundtrack for a love scene in his 1971 film “Play Misty for Me.”

The launch says that the Grammy-winning singer and pianist, now 85, “plans to remain energetic in her musical and inventive pursuits” by way of her eponymous basis and different avenues.

The Antonino D’Ambrosio-directed documentary can be in competitors on the pageant and out there by way of DOCNYC’s web site for every week after, earlier than airing on tv Jan. 24 as a part of PBS’ “American Masters” collection.

Flack additionally plans to publish a youngsters’s guide co-written with Tonya Bolden, “The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music,” that month. The North Carolina-born, Virginia-raised Flack is the daughter of pianists and classically educated herself — her expertise received her a full experience to Howard University at simply 15.

“I’ve lengthy dreamed of telling my story to youngsters about that first inexperienced piano that my father obtained for me from the junkyard within the hope that they’d be impressed to succeed in for his or her desires,” Flack was quoted within the launch. “I would like them to know that desires can come true with persistence, encouragement from household and mates, and most of all perception in your self.”

The documentary’s tv debut and guide’s publication kick off 2023, which additionally will see the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of her fourth album, “Killing Me Softly,” with a reissue. Her label for the primary three many years of her profession, Atlantic Records, can also be celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary.

Flack had a stroke in 2016 and spoke to The Associated Press a bit over two years later about returning to performing. When requested if she’d sing one among her previous hits at a then-upcoming occasion, she rapidly retorted: “There’s no such factor as an previous hit,” preferring the time period “basic” as an alternative.

“I might sing any variety of songs that I’ve recorded by way of the years, simply, I might sing them, however I’m going to select these songs that transfer me,” Flack stated. “Now that is exhausting to do. To be moved, to be moved continually by your personal songs.”


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