Grammy-winning musician Roberta Flack is unable to sing after being diagnosed with ALS, a form of motor neurone disease.
The Killing Me Softly With His Song singer was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that causes extreme muscle weakness, and in advanced stages, the inability to speak, move and breathe.
Flack, 85, is reportedly having trouble speaking after being diagnosed with the disease in August, her publicist Elaine Schock revealed to multiple outlets.
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Flack’s ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” her management said in a statement to the BBC.
There is no cure for ALS, with most patients requiring regular physiotherapy, speech therapy and dietetic advice upon falling ill, according to Brain Foundation Australia.
Yet, the singer’s publicist assures, “It will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”
According to Schock, Flack “plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits” despite her illness.
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Flack, who has won four Grammys and received 14 nominations across her career, is known for a slew of other songs other than Killing Me Softly, including The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Feel Like Makin’ Love and Where Is the Love?.
Killing Me Softly with His Song was also famously covered by The Fugees in 1996.
Flack is now reportedly gearing up for the premiere of a documentary about her life, which will take place in New York next week, and reportedly has plans to publish a children’s book in January.
The events have been organised in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of her best-known album, Killing Me Softly with His Song, which was her fourth album, released in 1973.
Though she has been out of the spotlight for some time, the legendary singer made an appearance at a benefict concert at the Apollo Theatre, New York, as recently as 2018. During the event she was taken to hospital, and missed receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America.
Her publicist later revealed Flack had suffered a stroke in 2016, and medics had thought it best for her to be checked on.
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