Her Story: Roberta Flack

Roberta Cleopatra Flack (born February 10, 1937) is an American singer and pianist. Flack is the only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year on two consecutive years: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won at the 1973 Grammys,  “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won the next year at the 1974 Grammys.

The Arlington-raised singer started playing piano at age 9. She won a full scholarship to Howard University and began college at just 15 years old, making her one of the youngest students to enter the university. She later changed her major from piano to voice. At age 19, she graduated from Howard University and went on to teach music in Washington D.C. public schools.

Roberta Flack started performing at Washington, D.C. nightclubs in the evenings and on weekends. In 1968 jazz musician Les McCann discovered her and arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records. At the audition, she played 42 songs in three hours and was promptly signed to the label. In February 1969, she recorded her debut album ‘First Take’ in ten hours for Atlantic Records. Her career took off and she became one of the most sought after artists of the 70s and 80s.

Her single ‘Killing Me Softly with His Song’ was a major success in her career. It became the number one hit in the US, Denmark, Finland, France, and Germany among other countries. Its parent album was certified double platinum. In 1974, she released the single ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’, the success of this song made her the first female vocalist to top the chart for three consecutive years.

She is a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition, which promotes the right of artists to control their creative properties. She is also the spokeswoman of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And, She founded The Roberta Flack School of Music, which provides free music education to underprivileged students. She Made History and has given the world some unforgettable music!

Sources and Links:

About The Author


Mother, Photographer, Wisecracker.... not necessarily in that order.

Let's Hear It For The Girls! (Let us know what you think!)

%d bloggers like this: