Roberta Flack diagnosed with ALS, says it’s “made it impossible to sing”

Singer Roberta Flack is no longer able to sing following a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS.

Her management team announced Monday the singer’s ALS symptoms have “made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak.” The statement adds, “But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

Her team announced, “Miss Flack plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits. Her fortitude and joyful embrace of music that lifted her from modest circumstances to the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspired.”

Flack is said to be looking forward to “a banner year in 2023,” and will pursue a “number of projects and anniversaries” celebrating her career and influence.

Among them is the 50th anniversary of her Grammy-nominated album Killing Me Softly, which is RIAA-certified twice Platinum. The record featured the number-one hit “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” which won the 1973 Grammy for Record of the Year.

Flack’s documentary, Roberta, will air at DOCNYC on November 17 and later on PBS on January 24. It explores how she crafted her music genius and became a powerhouse in the industry.

Flack will also release the children’s book The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music on January 10. “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,” the artist said in a statement. “I want them to know that dreams can come true with persistence, encouragement from family and friends, and most of all belief in yourself.”

She’ll also help mark the 75th anniversary of Atlantic Records, which signed her in 1969. 

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