Roberta Flack Reveals Devastating ALS Diagnosis Has Made Singing Impossible

Legendary singer Roberta Flack’s management team announced on Monday, November 14, 2022, that the singer has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS. Roberta is the voice behind the hit songs "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "Killing Me Softly With His Song," and "Feel Like Makin' Love," to name a few.
According to her team, her symptoms have "made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak." But Roberta will not let this stop her. "It will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon. Miss Flack plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits," her team continued. "Her fortitude and joyful embrace of music that lifted her from modest circumstances to the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspired."

Roberta is anticipating a "a banner year in 2023” that will include a "number of projects and anniversaries" celebrating her. One of these is the 50th anniversary of her album Killing Me Softly. This album was certified twice platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and includes the title track that won the 1973 Grammy for Record of the Year.

Another exciting event is the premiere of a new documentary film about Roberta. The film, titled Roberta, will first play at the Doc NYC film festival on November 17. It will then air on PBS on January 24, 2023. It will tell the story of how Roberta became a force in the music industry.

Roberta is also releasing a children’s book about her life, The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music. "I have long dreamed of telling my story to children about that first green piano that my father got for me from the junkyard in the hope that they would be inspired to reach for their dreams," Roberta said. "I want them to know that dreams can come true with persistence, encouragement from family and friends, and most of all belief in yourself."

Watch this video to learn more about Roberta's resilience.

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