BY WALTER OPINDE
Roberta Cleopatra Flack is a famous Afro-American singer and musician, born on 10th February, 1939. She is best known for her classic #1 singles “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” and for “Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You,” alongside two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway. In addition to other hit songs such as the Tonight I Celebrate My Love, and Set the Night to Music, Ms. Flack has built a musical legacy.
Flack was the first, and remains the only, solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in two consecutive years: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won at the 1973 Grammys as did “Killing Me Softly with His Song” at the 1974 Grammys. Internationally hailed as one of the greatest songstresses of our time, GRAMMY Award winning Roberta Flack remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music. Her songs bring insight into our lives, loves, culture and politics, while effortlessly traversing a broad musical landscape from pop to soul to folk to jazz.
Classically trained on the piano from an early age, Ms. Flack received a music scholarship at the age of 15 years to attend the Howard University. Discovered while singing at the Washington, D.C. nightclub Mr. Henry’s by jazz musician Les McCann, she was promptly signed to Atlantic With a string of hits. In 1999, she aptly received a Star on Hollywood’s legendary Walk of Fame.
Roberta is currently involved with a very exciting studio venture; an interpretive album of Beatles’ classics. She regularly plays to appreciative audiences around the world and had the pleasure of appearing recently with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. In February 2009, Ms. Flack performed with critically acclaimed orchestras in Australia, including the Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, Tasmanian, West Australian and Sydney Symphonies. Very active as a humanitarian and mentor, Ms. Flack founded the Roberta Flack School of Music at the Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx, providing an innovative and inspiring music education program to underprivileged students free of charge.
In 1999, a star with Flack’s name was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa; the final performance was attended by President Nelson Mandela. In 2010, she appeared on the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing a duet of “Where Is The Love” with Maxwell. In February 2012, Flack released Let it Be Roberta, an album of Beatles covers including “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”. It is her first recording in over eight years. Flack knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as both households moved in 1975 into The Dakota apartment building in New York City, and had apartments across the hall from each other. Flack has stated that she has already been asked to do a second album of Beatles covers. She is currently involved in an interpretative album of the Beatles’ classics.
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