After more than 40 years, Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Roberta Flack is still wowing audiences and gaining a new generation of fans with an album that pays tribute to The Beatles. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
To her legions of fans, her music is a national treasure. NY1 recently caught up with Roberta Flack at the historic Faison Firehouse Theater in Harlem. She hit the scene back in 1969 and even at 75 today, Roberta Flack is still a headturner and adored by a new generation of artists like the Fugees who covered arguably her most famous song, "Killing Me Softly".
Now the legendary songbird who took the Grammy's by storm in the mid 70s, winning year after year for her mega hits "Killing Me Softly" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", is back with a new CD for the first time in eight years.
"I think that the blessing that I have received as an musician and artist is my ability to hold on to it," Flack said.
"Let It Be: Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles" is a tribute to the fab four, especially to her friend John Lennon -- her neighbor who lived across the hall from her in The Dakota on Manhattan's West Side.
"It wasn't difficult to fall in love with songs like 'Yesterday,' 'Hey Jude,'" Flack said.
Born in North Carolina, Flack studied classical music at Howard University and became a teacher until she was plucked out of obscurity and transformed into a star. She is also known for her classic duets with Donny Hathaway, a popular soul singer who later committed suicide in 1979.
"As close as I was with Donny, I had no idea that there was that much trouble inside his mind and his spirit," Flack said.
The soulful singer says she is forging ahead with a busy tour schedule and her loyal fans all over the world could not be happier.