Roberta Flack Biography
Roberta Flack (born February 10, 1937 in Asheville, North Carolina) is an American singer. A notable performer in the areas of jazz, soul, and folk. Flack is best known for singles such as "Killing Me Softly With His Song", which won the 1974 Grammy for Record of the Year, and "Where Is the Love", the latter being one of her many duets with Donny Hathaway.
Flack began her professional career recording for Atlantic Records without much success, until one of her earliest recordings, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1969), was included on the soundtrack to Clint Eastwood's directorial debut Play Misty for Me; it became a #1 hit in 1972.
Flack soon began working with Hathaway, with her second number one hit being "Killing Me Softly with His Song" (1973; see 1973 in music). The Fugees famously covered this in 1996. She and Hathaway continued recording successfully together until Hathaway's suicide in 1979. She began working with Peabo Bryson with more limited success, charting as high as #5 on the Black Singles charts (plus #16 Pop and #4 Adult Contemporary) with "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" in 1983. Her next two singles with Bryson, "You're Looking Like Love To Me" and "I Just Came Here To Dance," fared better on adult contemporary (AC) radio than on pop or R&B radio. "Set the Night to Music", a 1991 duet with Jamaican vocalist Maxi Priest, peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and #2 AC. Flack's smooth R&B sound lent itself easily to Easy Listening airplay during the 1970s, and she has had four #1 AC hits.
Flack holds a BA degree in Music from Howard University, and taught high school Music and English briefly in North Carolina and Montgomery County, MD. She is the aunt of Rory Flack Burghardt, a well-known professional ice-skater.
Actor Clint Eastwood is a close friend to Flack - he used "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in his first directoral debut Play Misty for Me (spurring the song to hit status three years after it was recorded) and collaborated again in 1983 for the end music in the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact.
When Roberta Flack was awarded a gold record for her 1973, number one hit, "Killing Me Softly With His Song", she wanted to listen to her song etched in gold. She removed the disc from its frame and placed it on a turntable, only to hear "Come Softly to Me" by The Fleetwoods.
In 1986, Flack sang the theme song entitled "Together Through the Years" for the NBC television series "The Hogan Family". The song was used for all of the show's six seasons.