Singer Roberta Flack has ALS and may not sing, rep confirms

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

The progressive illness “has made it not possible to sing and never straightforward to talk,” Flack’s supervisor Suzanne Koga stated in a launch. “However it is going to take much more than ALS to silence this icon.”

The announcement of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis analysis 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 Track” and “The First Time I Ever Noticed 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 discharge says that the Grammy-winning singer and pianist, now 85, “plans to remain lively in her musical and artistic pursuits” by way of her eponymous basis and different avenues.

The Antonino D’Ambrosio-directed documentary will probably be in competitors on the pageant and accessible 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 kids’s e-book co-written with Tonya Bolden, “The Inexperienced Piano: How Little Me Discovered 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 College at simply 15.

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

The documentary’s tv debut and e-book’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 Data, can be celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary.

Flack had a stroke in 2016 and spoke to The Related Press a bit of over two years later about returning to performing. When requested if she’d sing one in all her outdated hits at a then-upcoming occasion, she rapidly retorted: “There isn’t any such factor as an outdated hit,” preferring the time period “traditional” 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 will choose these songs that transfer me,” Flack stated. “Now that is arduous to do. To be moved, to be moved continually by your personal songs.”

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