Roberta Flack Diagnosed w/ ALS & Can No Longer Sing, Publicist Shares

01/31/2010 – Roberta Flack – 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards – Press Room – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA, USA – Keywords: – 0 – – Photo Credit: Bob Charlotte / PR Photos – Contact (1-866-551-7827)

Roberta Flack Diagnosed w/ ALS & Can No Longer Sing, Publicist Shares

Roberta Flack has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 

On Monday (Nov. 14) a representative for Roberta Flack announced that the Grammy-Award winner has ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). The progressive disease prevents Roberta Flack from singing and also makes it difficult for the artist to speak. The 85-year-old’s manager Suzanne Koga said in a statement:

‘It will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

Roberta Flack

The announcement of the diagnosis comes before the premiere of ‘Roberta,’ a feature-length documentary debuting Thursday (Nov. 17)  at the DOCNYC film festival. According to reports, the upcoming film tells Flack’s life story in her own words and features interviews with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Clint Eastwood, Angela Davis, and more.

The singer is known for hit singles “ 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 featured the track in the soundtrack for his 1971 movie “Play Misty for Me.” The pianist now “plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits” through the rest of her future endeavors. 

In addition, the North Carolina native has plans on publishing a children’s book co-written with Tonya Bolden titled “The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music.” In a previous press release, she shared:

“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.” 

Flack added:

“I want them to know that dreams can come true with persistence, encouragement from family and friends, and most of all belief in yourself.”

What are your thoughts on Roberta Flack being diagnosed with ALS? Share it with us in the comments below.

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Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill