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‘Killing Me Softly’ singer Roberta Flack has ALS that makes it ‘not possible to sing’

“Killing Me Softly” singer Roberta Flack has ALS, often known as Lou Gehrig’s illness, her publicist introduced Monday.

The progressive neurodegenerative illness, full identify amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” Elaine Schock stated in a press launch.

Almost coinciding with the 85-year-old’s well being announcement is the Thursday premiere of “Roberta,” a documentary about Flack’s life and profession that premieres at DOC NYC, the nation’s largest documentary movie competition. The documentary is out there on-line Nov. 18-27 and premieres Jan. 24 on PBS as a part of the “American Masters” collection.

The “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” singer had a stroke in 2016 and went via a bout of COVID-19 this final January. Although she rallied sufficient post-stroke to carry out at Lincoln Heart in July 2017, she hasn’t carried out stay since then, telling Individuals journal in February, “I hope to see my fans in person soon.”

ALS is prone to forestall that from occurring. The illness causes the motor neurons that management muscle actions to degenerate, the ALS Assn. says on its web site.

“When the motor neurons die, the brain can no longer initiate and control muscle movement. When voluntary muscle action is progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe,” the web site says.

Nonetheless, Schock stated the singer intends to remain energetic in music and different inventive pursuits, such because the Jan. 10 launch of a kids’s e-book she co-wrote that tells the story of how her music profession started, “The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music.”

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“Her fortitude and joyful embrace of music that lifted her from modest circumstances to the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspired,” the press launch stated. “Through her Roberta Flack Foundation, she continues to pursue charitable and educational initiatives. Roberta knows firsthand that music has the power to uplift, inspire and transform.”

Stephen Hawking is among the most high-profile ALS sufferers to stay far longer than docs anticipated. The well-known cosmologist, who died in 2018 at age 76, lived greater than 5 many years after being identified.

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