On Air Now
The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
Her songs are some of music's most iconic - we look at the life story of American singer Roberta Flack.
Roberta Flack was discovered while singing at jazz club ‘Mr.Henry’s’ in Washington by musician Les McCann. He arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records and they snapped her up! Picture: Getty
Her big break came when Clint Eastwood chose the song ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ for the soundtrack of his directing debut ‘Play Misty For Me’ and it became the biggest hit of 1972. Picture: Getty
Roberta was once the neighbour of John Lennon and Yoko Ono when they all lived in The Dakota apartment building in New York. Picture: Getty
At aged 15, Roberta was asked to accompany on piano a fellow student in a talent competition singing ‘Don’t Take Your Love From Me’, but the nervous student pulled out and Roberta was asked to perform instead. She ended up winning the show! Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Flack was the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year two consecutive times – first in 1973 for ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and the following year for ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’. Picture: Getty
She had a close relationship with Donny Hathaway and they recorded many duets – the biggest ones being ‘Where is the love’ (1972) and ‘The Closer I Get To You’ (1978). Picture: Michael Putland/Getty
Roberta has won four Grammy Awards – two for Record of the Year (The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Killing Me Softly) and two for Best Pop Vocal Performance (Where Is The Love and Killing Me Softly) and has been nominated for 13 in total. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
In 2012, Roberta released the album ‘Let It Be Roberta’ an album of Beatles covers.
Roberta set up the Roberta Flack School of Music in the Bronx which provides free music education to underprivileged students.