She is had hits in the ’70s-’90s, including “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Where’s the Love,” and she collaborated often with soul superstar Donny Hathaway. Flack in addition has won several Grammys.
Produced on February 10, 1937, in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Roberta Flack is the daughter of a church organist. She started taking piano lessons at an early age and eventually received a music scholarship to Howard University. After graduation, she taught music and sang in nightclubs, where she was found by jazz musician Les McCann who helped her land a record deal with Atlantic.
Flack’s first two records were well received, but it was not until her version of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” hit the radio waves as part of the soundtrack for Play Misty for Me that she got national recognition.
Throughout the late 1970s, Flack took a pause from performing to concentrate on record and non-profit causes. In 1979, disaster struck when Hathaway committed suicide, and she was made to locate another partner. Finally teaming up and touring with Peabo Bryson in 1980, the duo scored a hit in 1983 with “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love.” In 1997, Flack released an anthology of Christmas standards plainly titled Christmas Album.