Roberta Flack retires from singing after announcing ALS diagnosis

15 November 2022, 11:53

The Roberta Flack Story documentary trailer

By Mayer Nissim

"It it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon."

Robert Flack has revealed that she can no longer sing, as she has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The soul icon's manager Suzanne Koga revealed that Flack now found it "impossible to sing and not easy to speak" as a result of the disease.

"Miss Flack plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits," Koga said.

"Her fortitude and joyful embrace of music that lifted her from modest circumstances to the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspired."

She added: "It will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon."

Roberta Flack in 1973
Roberta Flack in 1973. Picture: Getty Images

Now 85, Roberta Flack found fame in the early 1970s and scored a clutch of massive hit singles, including 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', 'Killing Me Softly with His Song' and 'Feel Like Makin' Love'.

Among her many duets with Donny Hathaway were the successful singles 'Where Is the Love' and 'The Closer I Get to You'.

Flack was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

Roberta Flack at the Grammys in 2020
Roberta Flack at the Grammys in 2020. Picture: Getty Images

She previously won the Record of the Year gong in successive years for 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' and 'Killing Me Softly With His Song' in 1973 and 1974.

In 2018, Flack was forced to halt a performance at the Apollo Theater and be rushed to the Harlem Hospital Center, with it being revealed that she had suffered a stroke a few years earlier.