A consultant for Roberta Flack introduced Monday that the Grammy-winning musician has ALS, generally often known as Lou Gehrig’s illness, and might not sing.
The progressive illness “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” Flack’s supervisor Suzanne Koga mentioned in a launch. “But it will take a lot 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 Song” and “The First Time I Ever Saw 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 launch says that the Grammy-winning singer and pianist, now 85, “plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits” by her eponymous basis and different avenues.
The Antonino D’Ambrosio-directed documentary will likely 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 youngsters’s e book co-written with Tonya Bolden, The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music, that month. The North Carolina-born, Virginia-raised Flack is the daughter of pianists and classically skilled herself — her expertise gained her a full journey to Howard University at simply 15.
“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 was quoted within the launch. “I want them to know that dreams can come true with persistence, encouragement from family and friends, and most of all belief in yourself.”
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 Records, can also be celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary.
Flack had a stroke in 2016 and spoke to The Associated Press somewhat over two years later about returning to performing. When requested if she’d sing considered one of her previous hits at a then-upcoming occasion, she shortly retorted: “There’s no such thing as an old hit,” preferring the time period “classic” as an alternative.
“I could sing any number of songs that I’ve recorded through the years, easily, I could sing them, but I’m going to pick those songs that move me,” Flack mentioned. “Now that’s hard to do. To be moved, to be moved constantly by your own songs.”