Roberta Flack shares motor neurone disease diagnosis
She is no longer able to sing.
Acclaimed singer Roberta Flack has shared the news that she has motor neurone disease. She is no longer able to sing.
Flack, the performer behind Killing Me Softly with His Song and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, made the announcement through a statement by a representative.
The statement said that her diagnosis of MND, which is also known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has "made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak".
They added, however, that it will "take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon".
Her representative also said that Flack plans on staying active in her "musical and creative pursuits".
News of her illness comes just weeks ahead of the premiere of a documentary exploring her life. January will also see her publish a children's book.
The book and film's release coincide with the 50th anniversary of her most popular song, Killing Me Softly with His Song. When it was released in 1973, the track reached the number one position in the American, Canadian and Australian charts, and it secured Flack's awards for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1974 Grammy Awards. In 2021, Rolling Stone Magazine placed it in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
According to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, MND is a "progressive neurological condition in which the nerves that control voluntary muscles stop working". The condition attacks the nerves in the brain and the spinal cord, and results in weakness and wasting. It can also impact how you walk, talk, eat and breathe, though not everyone who is diagnosed with MND exhibits all these symptoms, nor do they occur in any particular order. There is currently no cure for MND.
For more information on MND, head to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association's website right here.