Roberta Flack has been diagnosed with a nerve disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), her publicist said Monday in a statement.

Due to the disease, the 85-year-old Grammy-winning artist will no longer be able to sing.  

According to the statement from her publicist, ALS “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” and added, “But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

Also read: Roberta Flack diagnosed with ALS, can no longer sing

The statement also added that Flack “plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits.”

There is no known cure for ALS, which is also known as motor neurone disease (MND). This occurs when the nerves that carry messages from the brain to people’s muscles die. It affects their ability to move, talk and even breathe.

documentary film on her life, called Roberta, is set to release on Thursday at DOC NYC. She also has a children’s book which will be up on shelves in 2023.

Flack was the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in two consecutive years: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face won in 1973 and Killing Me Softly with His Song won in 1974.

Before becoming a professional singer-songwriter, she returned to Washington, D.C., and taught at Banneker, Browne, and Rabaut Junior High Schools. 

Also Read | What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

Here are the top 5 songs by Flack:

Killing Me Softly With His Song

First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Tonight I Celebrate My Love

If Ever I See You Again

Feel Like Makin’ Love