Roberta Flack Diagnosed With ALS & Cannot Sing, Her Publicist Reveals

Legendary singer Roberta Flack has lost her ability to sing following an ALS diagnosis.

In a statement published on Monday, her manager revealed the Killing Me Softly singer is having difficulty speaking and singing amid her battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a nervous system condition that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. She was reportedly diagnosed with the health condition in August. Per BBC, the publicist revealed the disease “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” but left fans with some hope, saying:

“But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

The 85-year-old currently has “plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits,” including the release of Roberta, a documentary about her life that will premiere in New York next week, as well as plans to publish a children’s book in January. This worrisome update is the latest health news from the singer in a while.

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Back in 2018 while attending a benefit concert at the Apollo Theater in NYC, where she was set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America, she was rushed to the hospital. Her rep later confirmed she had suffered a stroke a few years earlier and they wanted to make sure she was checked out by a professional, they said:

“She didn’t feel well so it was best to take her to the hospital. She’s doing fine but is being kept overnight for observation.”

Her management team added at the time:

“Ms. 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.”

She was most recently photographed in Washington, D.C. in July while attending the BGR! Film Festival. We are sending her lots of love as she continues to face this health challenge.

[Image via WENN/Avalon]

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