American singer Roberta Flack has disclosed that she has ALS and will no longer be able to perform, Idoamebo gathered.
Roberta Flack, the soulful voice behind the hits “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
According to Flack’s rep, the American singer, 85, can no longer sing and has difficulty speaking as a result of the disease.
The progressive disease ‘has made it impossible to sing and difficult to speak,’ Flack’s manager Suzanne Koga said in a statement, adding, ‘but it will take much more than ALS to silence this icon.’
The diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis comes just days before the premiere of Roberta, a feature-length documentary premiering Thursday at the DOCNYC film festival.
Flack’s hits include Killing Me Softly With His Song and The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, the latter of which catapulted her to fame after Clint Eastwood used it as the soundtrack for a love scene in his 1971 film Play Misty for Me.
The Grammy-winning singer and pianist, now 85, ‘plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits’ through her eponymous foundation and other avenues, according to the release.
Flack also plans to release “The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music,” a children’s book co-written with Tonya Bolden, that month.
The Virginia-raised North Carolina native Flack is the pianist’s daughter. At the age of 15, her talent earned her a full scholarship to Howard University.
Flack suffered a stroke in 2016 and spoke to The Associated Press about returning to the stage a little more than two years later.