Roberta Flack, the highly decorated vocalist whose stellar hits like “Killing Me Softly With His Song” made her among the most iconic voices of the ’70s, has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and can no longer sing, according to a statement released by her publicist Monday.
The condition, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, was diagnosed in August and made it difficult for Ms. Flack to speak, publicist Elaine Schock said in an email to The New York Times.
Ms. Flack, 85, won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance in both 1973 and 1974 garnering her first hit singles including “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1972), “Killing Me Softly” with his songs” (73) and “Feel Like McCain” (74). Over the course of her career, She has received 14 Grammy Award nominations.
Ms. Flack, who lives in New York, appeared at the Apollo Theater as recently as 2018. Ms. Schock said she collapsed at the theater and suffered a stroke.
The Recording Academy’s National Trustees presented Ms. Flack with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. “Ms. Flack plans to remain active in her musical and creative endeavours,” the statement said. “Her fortitude and joyful embrace of the music that took her from humble circumstances into the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspiring.”
According to the statement, a new feature-length documentary called “Roberta” will be screened Thursday at the DOC NYC Film Festival. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Killing Me Softly, Ms. Flack’s fourth studio album. Rhino Records will mark the occasion with a commemorative reissue of the record, the statement said.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that causes neurons to stop working and die. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After that, the nerves lose the ability to stimulate specific muscles, which leads to muscle weakness, the CDC says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cause of most cases of ALS is unknown reports It indicates that fewer than 20,000 people in the United States have it.
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