American singer Roberta Flack has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis and can no longer sing, said a statement by her publicist Elaine Shock
on Monday.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive nervous system disease
that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing a loss of muscle
control. It is also called Lou Gehrig disease – named after a baseball player who
was first diagnosed with it. The disease has reportedly made even speech difficult for

Who is
Roberta Flack?

Flack is an 85-year-old American professional singer and songwriter. She was
born on February 10, 1937, in Black Mountain, North Carolina, to Laron Flack and Irene Flack. It has been identified through DNA tests that she
is of Cameroonian origin.

Born in a musical family, she became one of the youngest
to enter Howard University at 15 years of age. She married Steve Novosel in
1968 before divorcing him in 1974.

Also read: Singer Roberta Flak diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, can no longer sing

As per her teacher Fredrick Wilkerson’s
guidance, she modified her voice to suit pop than classics. Her career as a
professional singer began after she performed at Mr Henry’s restaurant on
Capitol Hill, Washington D.C in 1968. Her chartbuster classic “The first time
ever I saw your face” finished as Billboard’s number 1 song of 1972. She also
holds the distinction of being the only artist to win Grammy award for record
of the year for 2 consecutive times, namely for The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face and Killing Me Softly with his Song.

In the 80s, some of her prominent
hits include Making Love and Together through the years. At age 80, she made her
most recent recording, Running. It was the closing credits song of the
documentary 3100 Run and Become.

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In a career
spanning over five decades, she has received 14 Grammy nominations. The Hyde
leadership Charter school’s after-school music program is called “The Roberta
Flack school of music” and is in partnership with Flack. She founded the
school and gives classes to under privileged students without charging money
for it.