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Roberta Flack

Classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated -- all of these terms have been used to describe the music of Roberta Flack, particularly her string of romantic, light jazz ballad hits in the 1970s, which continue to enjoy popularity on MOR-oriented adult contemporary stations. Flack was the daughter of a church organist and started playing piano early enough to get a music scholarship and eventually, a degree from Howard University. After a period of student teaching, Flack was discovered singing at a club by jazz musician Les McCann and signed to Atlantic.

Her first two albums -- 1969's First Take and 1970's Chapter Two -- were well received but produced no hit singles; however, that all changed when a version of Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," from her first LP, was included in the soundtrack of the 1971 film Play Misty for Me. The single zoomed to number one in 1972 and remained there for six weeks, becoming that year's biggest hit. Flack followed it with the first of several duets with Howard classmate Donny Hathaway, "Where Is the Love." "Killing Me Softly with His Song" became Flack's second number one hit (five weeks) in 1973, and after topping the charts again in 1974 with "Feel Like Makin' Love," Flack took a break from performing to concentrate on recording and charitable causes.

She charted several more times over the next few years, as she did with the Top Ten 1977 album Blue Lights in the Basement -- featuring "The Closer I Get to You," a number two ballad with Hathaway. A major blow was struck in 1979 when her duet partner, one of the most creative voices in soul music, committed suicide. Devastated, Flack eventually found another creative partner in Peabo Bryson, with whom she toured in 1980. The two recorded together in 1983, scoring a hit duet with "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love."

Flack spent the remainder of the '80s touring and performing, often with orchestras, and also several times with Miles Davis. She returned to the Top Ten once more in 1991 with "Set the Night to Music," a duet with Maxi Priest that appeared that year on the album of the same name. Her Roberta full-length, featuring interpretations of jazz and popular standards, followed in 1994. As she continued into the 21st century, Flack recorded infrequently but released albums like 2012's Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles, which showed that her poise and balanced singing had aged well. Varese Sarabande released a lovingly remixed version of Flack's fine 1997 holiday album Christmas Songs (it had originally appeared from Capitol Records under the title The Christmas Album) that same year, adding in an additional track, "Cherry Tree Carol." ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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capiyoni
I've rediscovered her! What a voice; love her tone and control. Seems effortless. We should have much more from her but, what we have is treasure.
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Love her...she is great with this song..♡
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pettorinikey s
The first time I ever saw my wife, I told the person with whom I was with that I was going to marry to marry that person, and I did. We're still married after 48 years. This song has special meaning to me.
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I
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Smooth
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mv2114
Great
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I love this song wow
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Love this song!!
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A sophisticate d golden voice that blends so well with her magical piano playing.....
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Roberta, can make all your love come down with her voice and words. jUST brings out the best in me! Closer I Get To You! RQ/rlh
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Play me some pimpin with BUPP radio. Legendary artists
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T, the First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.....sig h .
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nrivers16
Im all over the floor step step hey spinning now twirlinggggg heyyyyy
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This. S**t sound (Good) Mad. !!!����
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I love this song
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soft and sensual love song........ . g i v e love a try
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Love this song! It brings back so many good memories in my life as a child. Thinking about my sweet mommy that brought music in me and my siblings lives everyday. Miss her everyday as she watches us from above in Heaven.
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Love This Song By Roberta Flack!!!! Great!!!!
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Me
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OG
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Man I just love this kind of music.
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o.corbin
Love this song. Incredible voice and lyrics. Wish there were more songs like this. Miss the 70s.
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Love this song ����
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jope99
Love Roberta, if I feel like lov'in, it's her music I crave.
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Unsung...pls feature her ..sooner than later

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nrivers16
;);9:D
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Can we please get back to some REAL music like this
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Love her smooth voice, romantic songs from the seventies
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70s school crush
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special song for a special somebody
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Your love capture me that was a blessing.
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mutchersonca r o l y n
My favorite female vocalist. Nobody sings like Roberta. Wish I could see her in concert with an orchestra again. Her song 'Let it be me' is sung like no other. There are so many songs I love but 'Let it be me' is my all time favorite. Thanks Roberta for giving us your voice and your music. God bless you!!!
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Good morning have your picture beside me first face i see in the morning.
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Roberta Flack---All her music is Great. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face---She Is No.1
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We made eye contact and later heard this song playing from apartment danm she was fine....
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My ex Wife is Still crazy after 20 years...
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Roberta Flack is one of the GREATEST. I jus love her. My idle singer of all time.
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Ole school
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I think about my ex wife of 20yrs it wasn't all bad lol
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I dedicate this song to AL B. Martin! Love Baby!
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I like this song! The closer I get you! MR. A. Martin how that sounds to you !
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I think Roberta Flack has one of the best voices in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I love the song Set the night to music!
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Love this song
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jlneeds2know
My husband loves this song.
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The closer i get to you by Roberta and Donny one of the best duets ever that's if you know Good music
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roderickbars u h n
THIS SONG WAS DEDICATED TO MY GIRLFRIEND ARRA 9-30-2014 I HOPE U LIKE IT BABEE
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cobban.barne t t
I was fortunate to see Ms. Flack live at an AIDS charity benefit in 1992 or 1993. I have rarely been so impressed with the level of professional i s m and talent on display that night -- she is truly an amazing performer.
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I love her voice no one like miss Roberta !! ��
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Timeless piece,Love this song, ....back down memory lane in more ways than one...
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if you knew growing up in d.c. in this time of my life you knew a great music teacher in my d.c. jr. high school
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