Roberta Flack
Singer-songwriter, musician
Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is notable for jazz, soul, R&B, and folk music. Roberta Flack is best known for her Hot 100 #1 singles "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Killing Me Softly with His Song" and "Feel Like Makin' Love", as well as "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You", two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway.
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Hear the Album That Made HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines Fall in Love All Over Again
Huffington Post - 4 months
Johnnyswim's Georgica Pond makes marriage sound wonderful - just ask TV's hottest couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. "The album has been playing on repeat in our car since it came out in October," Chip says. The Gaineses' HGTV show, Fixer Upper, made ceramic farm sinks and "shiplap" paneling en vogue. Now they're promoting their favorite duo Johnnyswim as headliners at "Silobration" (the annual fan festival held at their company headquarters in Waco, Texas). Joanna says she and Chip can't get enough of the singers' new album. "Johnnyswim's music speaks to us on so many different levels," she says. "We fall in love all over again while listening to Georgica Pond." [Click here to listen to Georgica Pond on Spotify.] The second full-length release from Johnnyswim captures the days and nights of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez, two songwriters married to music (and each other). Recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville with collaborators such as Vince Gill ("Lonely Nig ...
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Huffington Post article
R&B innovator Kashif Saleem dies at 59
LATimes - 5 months
When Kashif Saleem was sent the demo for a tender ballad called “You Give Good Love,” he felt it was a hit. The track had originally been destined for jazzy R&B singer Roberta Flack, whose assistant rebuffed the demo writer.  But Saleem had a different singer in mind. He had seen a young artist...
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LATimes article
First Nighter: Mfoniso Udofia's "Sojourners" Deserves a Welcome Stay
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In Sojourners, the stimulating new Playwrights Realm production at Peter Sharp, the first-generation Nigerian-American author Mfoniso Udofia never directly explains the title, but implicitly she lets us know again and again and again. The word "sojourners" suggests people passing through a place and often, if not usually, as strangers to one another. That's exactly who Udofia's characters are and how they relate between and among themselves--if only temporarily. The result is a microcosmic peek at today's world, where everything is in constantly unsettling transition. Abasiama (Chinasa Ogbuagu), a twentysomething Nigerian woman studying in the Houston of 1978, is pregnant but not getting much help through the nine months from her Nigerian husband Ukpong (Hubert Pont-Du Jour), who's also supposed to be studying stateside. A large part of their immediately apparent marital problem is that they tied their unraveling knot when her father and his arranged the union. Neither Abasiama ...
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Huffington Post article
These 'Dynamite Divas' really boom, but story is a bust
Chicago Times - about 1 year
The divas still are dynamite at the Black Ensemble Theater, but they need to be allowed to run the show. Conceived as a tribute to the great female recording artists of soul, Jackie Taylor's "Dynamite Divas" is centered on the hits of Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Gladys Knight and Roberta Flack,...
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Chicago Times article
San Francisco Treats
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Contrary to what commercials once told Americans, Rice-A-Roni (which was introduced to consumers by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company in 1958) is not the only San Francisco "treat." When I think of some of San Francisco's unique attractions, I tend to consider local arts organizations that create original work (as opposed to primarily restaging works that have already found their place in the dramatic literature). Quite often, when people refer to community theatre they do so in a condescending tone, as if to imply that even though a community theatre group might stage Broadway musicals, their production values aren't up to the standards of "real" Broadway productions. Such criticisms fail to take into account that it is often the smaller black box and community theatres that encourage the creation of new work by local playwrights, directors, actors, and choreographers. Since its founding in 2010, the SFOlympians Festival (playwright-director-impresario Stuart Bousel's a ...
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Huffington Post article
Adele returns to explain the big emotions of your life on '25'
LATimes - over 1 year
When Adele sings on her new album, "25," about an emotional experience so vivid that “It was just like a movie / It was just like a song,” she’s probably thinking of a tune by one of her idols: Roberta Flack, say, or Stevie Nicks. But for fans of this 27-year-old British singer, such a moment could...
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LATimes article
Music by Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac among Grammy Hall of Fame inductees - Reuters
Google News - over 1 year
Billboard Music by Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac among Grammy Hall of Fame inductees Reuters LOS ANGELES Nov 18 Music by rockers the Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac, jazz greats Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong and singers Blondie and Roberta Flack will be enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame, The Recording Academy said on Wednesday. Music by Fleetwood Mac, Dylan, James Brown & More Inducted into Grammy Hall of ...WFJA Classic Hits and Oldies 105.5 FM Grammy Nominations Announcement, Hall Of Fame Inductees NamedAll Access Music Group The Grateful Dead's American Beauty Inducted into Grammy Hall of Business Wire (press release) all 19 news articles »
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Google News article
Why Barbra Streisand Is The World's Last Great Superstar
Huffington Post - about 2 years
"Oh, dear -- I'm not wearing the right shoes for this!" were the first words Barbra Streisand ever said to me. And I fell in love, as I knew I would. Exactly 10 years ago I was one of two "civilians" invited to One&Only Palmilla, the luxury resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, to help surprise John Travolta for his 50th birthday with a weekend-long celebration that had megawatt co-hosts Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand leading the celebrity-filled festivities. The resort welcomed Tony Bennett, Sean Penn, Meg Ryan, Robin Williams, Sylvester Stallone (whom I overheard ask a bartender "How do you say 'tequila' in Spanish?"), Kirstie Alley, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Gayle King (the best airplane companion and dance partner), Carly Simon, Cal Ripken, Jr., Buzz Aldrin, Laura Dern, Forest Whitaker and on and on and on -- an impossibly dense galaxy of superstars -- and me. It was quite the weekend. At the culmination of the remarkable activities was an all-star concert (To ...
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Huffington Post article
Donny Hathaway: Two Rarities From New Anthology - Song Premiere
Rolling Stone - over 3 years
Click to listen to Donny Hathaway's 'Don’t Turn Away' and 'You’ve Got a Friend' A new four-disc anthology titled Donny Hathaway Never My Love will celebrate the life and work of the soul legend when it is released Tuesday (November 11th) Collecting essential solo material his timeless duets with Roberta Flack and two...
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Rolling Stone article
Yoko Ono's Incredible New Video Reaffirms She Is The Queen Of Everything
The Huffington Post - over 3 years
How much do you love Yoko Ono? A lot, right? Well, get ready to love her even more. Yup, her new video is that good. The video for the bouncy "Bad Dancer" features Ms. Ono in a top hat and tiny shorts dancing with other awesome, but not quite as awesome, famous people like the Beastie Boys, ?uestlove, Justin Vivian Bond, Roberta Flack, Ira Glass and Reggie Watts. The whole artsy dance party will make you want to bust a horrendous dance move like never before. Watch the 3 minute masterpiece below and let your Yoko love flow freely in the comments. Read More... More on Female Artists
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The Huffington Post article
Demolition Of Iconic Purple Hotel Begins
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Demolition of Lincolnwood's famed, vacant Purple Hotel just north of Chicago began Tuesday morning in an experience described as "bittersweet" for the village. The hotel, which opened its doors in 1962 at the corner of Lincoln and Touhy and is known for its signature purple bricks, was the Pritzker family's original Chicago-area Hyatt property. In its hey day it played host to singers including Roberta Flack and Barry Manilow, according to ABC Chicago. Going forward, however, the hotel and nearby property will be converted into a mixed-use district including retail, restaurants, office space and a new hotel, the Chicago Tribune reports. The iconic bricks will also reportedly be put to use in the site's new development -- while others have been given away to the public in exchange for donations to the Lincolnwood Public Library. There is also a darker side to the property's history. In 1983, mobster Allen Dorfman, an associate of Jimmy Hoffa, was killed in what was des ...
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Huffington Post article
Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood scheduled for demolition Tuesday
Chicago Tribune - over 3 years
The Purple Hotel was once a destination for celebrity guests. Perry Como, Roberta Flack and Barry Manilow all checked in at one point. The Purple Hotel was once a destination for celebrity guests. Perry Como, Roberta Flack and Barry Manilow all checked in at one point.
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Chicago Tribune article
Your Filing Status? Look to Dec. 31
The Street - about 4 years
Editor's Note: This article is part of our 2013 Tax Tips series. Robert Flach is an expert with almost 40 years of experience as a tax professional and also blogs as The Wandering Tax Pro. NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Clients often come to me confused about how they should file their tax return. Are they Single, Married or Head of Household? Your filing status is determined by your legal status on the last day of the year -- Dec. 31. If you got married on Christmas Eve you are considered by the IRS to be married for the entire year, and subject to the rules and rates for married filers. If your divorce was final Nov. 5, you are considered by the IRS to be "unmarried" for the entire year, and will file as either Single or, if you qualify, Head of Household. If a spouse is alive for at least one day of the year the IRS will treat you as being married for the entire year. If your husband passed away Jan. 17, 2012, you will still be able to file a joint return for 2012 and claim a ...
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The Street article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Roberta Flack
  • 2013
    Age 74
    Sarah Bryan and Beverly Patterson, African American Trails of Eastern North Carolina, North Carolina Arts Council, 2013, p. 92 Roberta Flack, ISBN 978-1469610795
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    In the 2013 Marvel movie, X-Men, Days of Future Past, her hit "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is playing on the radio in the room when Hugh Jackman's character, Wolverine's consciousness initially arrives back in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Flack was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009. The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Flack has received four awards from thirteen nominations.
  • 2012
    Age 73
    In February 2012, Flack released Let it Be Roberta, an album of Beatles covers including "Hey Jude" and "Let it Be".
    More Details Hide Details It is her first recording in over eight years. Flack knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as both households moved in 1975 into The Dakota apartment building in New York City, and had apartments across the hall from each other. Flack has stated that she has already been asked to do a second album of Beatles covers. She is currently involved in an interpretative album of the Beatles' classics. Flack is a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition, which advocates the right of artists to control their creative properties. She is also a spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; her appearance in commercials for the ASPCA featured "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". In the Bronx section of New York City, the Hyde Leadership Chart School's after-school music program is called "The Roberta Flack School of Music" and is in partnership with Flack, who founded the school, which provides free music education to underprivileged students.
  • 2010
    Age 71
    In 2010, she appeared on the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing a duet of "Where Is The Love" with Maxwell.
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  • 1999
    Age 60
    In 1999, a star with Flack's name was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa; the final performance was attended by President Nelson Mandela.
  • 1991
    Age 52
    Flack found herself again in the US Top 10 with the hit song "Set the Night to Music", a 1991 duet with Jamaican vocalist Maxi Priest that peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and #2 AC.
    More Details Hide Details Flack's smooth R&B sound lent itself easily to Easy Listening airplay during the 1970s, and she has had four #1 AC hits.
  • 1986
    Age 47
    In 1986, Flack sang the theme song entitled "Together Through the Years" for the NBC television series, Valerie later known as The Hogan Family.
    More Details Hide Details The song was used throughout the show's six seasons. Oasis was released in 1988 and failed to make an impact with pop audiences, though the title track reached #1 on the R&B chart and a remix of "Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes)" topped the dance chart in 1989.
  • 1983
    Age 44
    She began working with Peabo Bryson with more limited success, charting as high as #5 on the R&B chart (plus #16 Pop and #4 Adult Contemporary) with "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1982
    Age 43
    Roberta Flack had a 1982 hit single with "Making Love", written by Burt Bacharach (the title track of the 1982 film of the same name), which reached #13.
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  • 1974
    Age 35
    In 1974, Flack released "Feel Like Makin' Love," which became her third and final #1 hit to date on the Hot 100.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, Flack sang the lead on a Sherman Brothers song called "Freedom", which featured prominently at the opening and closing of the movie Huckleberry Finn.
  • 1973
    Age 34
    The American Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony created by Dick Clark in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Flack has received one award from six nominations.
    On her own, Flack scored her second #1 hit in 1973, "Killing Me Softly with His Song" written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, and originally performed by Lori Lieberman. It was awarded both Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 1974 Grammy Awards.
    More Details Hide Details Its parent album was Flack's biggest-selling disc, eventually earning double platinum certification.
    It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details In 1983, she recorded the end music to the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact at Eastwood's request.
    Flack was the first to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year two consecutive times. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" won at the 1973 Grammys and "Killing Me Softly with His Song" won at the 1974 Grammys.
    More Details Hide Details She remains the only solo artist to have accomplished this feat.
  • 1972
    Age 33
    In 1972, Flack began recording regularly with Donny Hathaway, scoring hits such as the Grammy-winning "Where Is the Love" (1972) and later "The Closer I Get to You" (1978) – both million-selling gold singles.
    More Details Hide Details Flack and Hathaway recorded several duets together, including two LPs, until Hathaway's 1979 death.
    Her Atlantic recordings did not sell particularly well, until actor/director Clint Eastwood chose a song from First Take, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", for the sound track of his directorial debut Play Misty for Me; it became the biggest hit of the year for 1972 – spending six consecutive weeks at #1 and earning Flack a million-selling Gold disc.
    More Details Hide Details The First Take album also went to #1 and eventually sold 1.9 million copies in the United States. Eastwood, who paid $2,000 for the use of the song in the film, has remained an admirer and friend of Flack's ever since.
    Flack's cover version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" hit number seventy-six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.
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  • 1968
    Age 29
    In November 1968, she recorded 39 song demos in less than 10 hours.
    More Details Hide Details Three months later, Atlantic reportedly recorded Roberta's debut album, First Take, in a mere 10 hours. Flack later spoke of those studio sessions as a "very naive and beautiful approach... I was comfortable with the music because I had worked on all these songs for all the years I had worked at Mr. Henry's."
    Flack began singing professionally after being hired to perform regularly at Mr. Henry's Restaurant, on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC in 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Mr. Henry’s is still in operation at 6th and Pennsylvania Ave, SE, and was owned by Henry Yaffe. The atmosphere in Mr. Henry’s was welcoming and the club turned into a showcase for the young music teacher. Her voice mesmerized locals and word spread. A-list entertainers who were appearing in town would come in late at night to hear her sing (frequent visitors included Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Ramsey Lewis and others). As Yaffe recalled, “She told me if I could give her work there three nights a week, she would quit teaching.” He did and she did. To meet Roberta’s exacting standards, Yaffe transformed the apartment above the bar into the Roberta Flack Room. “I got the oak paneling from the old Dodge Hotel near Union Station. I put in heavy upholstered chairs, sort of a conservative style from the 50s and an acoustical system designed especially for Roberta. She was very demanding. She was a perfectionist.”
  • 1966
    Age 27
    Between 1966 and 1972, she was married to Steve Novosel.
    More Details Hide Details Flack is the aunt of the professional ice skater Rory Flack. She is mother to rhythm and blues musician Bernard Wright. According to a DNA analysis, she descended, mainly, from people of Cameroon. Her collaboration with Donny Hathaway is mentioned in the song "What A Catch, Donnie" on Fall Out Boy's fifth studio album, Folie à Deux. American experimental producer Flying Lotus had a song named after her ("RobertaFlack") on his Los Angeles album. In 1991, Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam recorded a covered version of "And So It Goes" called "微涼" in the album 夢了、瘋了、倦了. Although it was not officially promoted by the record company, it was played by many DJs. In the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "My Lovely Man", on the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Anthony Kiedis sang "I listen to Roberta Flack, but I know you won't come back."
  • 1939
    Age 0
    Flack lived with a musical family, born in Black Mountain, North Carolina to parents Laron LeRoy (October 11, 1911 – July 12, 1959) and Irene Flack (September 28, 1911 – January 17, 1981) a church organist, on February 10, 1939 and raised in Arlington, Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details She first discovered the work of African American musical artists when she heard Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke sing in a predominantly African-American Baptist church. When Flack was 9, she started taking an interest in playing the piano, and during her early teens, Flack so excelled at classical piano that Howard University awarded her a full music scholarship. By age 15, she entered Howard University, making her one of the youngest students ever to enroll there. She eventually changed her major from piano to voice, and became an assistant conductor of the university choir. Her direction of a production of Aida received a standing ovation from the Howard University faculty. Flack is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and was made an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma by the Eta Delta Chapter at Howard University for her outstanding work in promoting music education.
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