b. Roberta Cleopatra Flack, 10th February 1937, Black Mountain, near Asheville, Buncombe Co., North Carolina, U.S.A.
Roberta Flack was born into a musical family and grew up in Arlington, Virginia.
Her parents were Laron LeRoy Flack, who was born on the 11th of October 1911 and passed away on the 12th of July 1959, and Irene Flack, who was born on the 28th of September 1911 and passed away on the 17th of January 1981.
Both parents were born in North Carolina and passed away in Virginia, by co-incidence. A strong longevity family bond.
By the age of 9, Roberta was playing the piano and, at the age of 15, she studied music at Howard University.
She graduated from Howard University with a BA in music.
Between 1966 and 1972, she was married to one Stephen Novosel.
She was discovered singing and playing jazz in a Washington nightclub by pianist Les McCann, who recommended her talents to Atlantic Records.
Her first albums were, 'First Take' and 'Chapter Two'
She recorded the song 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' (taken from 'First Take').
Recorded in 1969, it featured in the film 'Play Misty For Me'. A movie vehicle for Clint Eastwood.
The album 'Quiet Fire' followed in 1971.
The song was penned by her long time percussionist Ralph MacDonald.
'Killing Me Softly With His Song' followed in 1973, and then another hit in the form of 'Feel Like Making Love' followed the next year.
Her recordings with the late Donny Hathaway included, 'The Closer I Get To You' in 1978 (taken from 'Blue Lights In The Basement'), and 'You Are My Heaven' in 1979 were released, the latter song coming from an album hastily put together, as some of the duets were completed, but not the full album, after the tragic suicide of her good friend.
That album also contained the hit 'Back Together Again' and the Stevie Wonder penned 'Don't Make Me Wait Too Long'.
1980 saw a new association with the singer Peabo Bryson.
That year Roberta wrote most of the score for the Richard Pryor / Cicely Tyson movie vehicle 'Bustin Loose'.
The soundtrack included the popular 'Qual E Malindrinho, (Why Are You So Bad?)', which became a popular rare groove track.
The album also featured songwriting input from the late Luther Vandross, whose own career was about to blossom.
Roberta's singing collaboration with Peabo hit a peak with 'Tonight I Celebrate My Love' in 1983.
In 1984, Roberta recorded alongside the Jazz Fusion artist Sadao Watanabe, recording a hugely slowed down version of her melody 'If I'm Still Around Tomorrow' (the original version being a dance track taken from Ralph MacDonald's 1976 release 'The Path').
In 1988, Roberta released the album 'Oasis', which contained the highly popular dancer 'Uh Uh Ooh Ooh, Look Out Here It Comes', dispelling some opinions that Roberta did not cope with uptempo songs competently.
'Set The Night To Music' followed in 1991 and was produced by the highly respected Arif Mardin.
Roberta recorded an album of Jazz Standards in 1995, simply entitled 'Roberta'.
Roberta Flack releases material sporadically thesedays, however a fine retrospective was released in 2006, for the Atlantic imprint.
First Take (Atlantic Records 1970)
Chapter Two (Atlantic Records 1970)
Quiet Fire (Atlantic Records 1971)
with Donny Hathaway:
Roberta Flack And Donny Hathaway (Atlantic Records 1972)
Killing Me Softly (Atlantic Records 1973)
Feel Like Making Love (Atlantic Records 1975)
Blue Lights In The Basement (Atlantic Records 1978)
Roberta Flack (Atlantic Records 1978)
with Donny Hathaway:
Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway (Atlantic Records 1980)
with Peabo Bryson:
Live And More (Atlantic Records 1980)
Bustin' Loose Movie Soundtrack (MCA Records 1981)
I'm The One (Atlantic Records 1982)
with Peabo Bryson:
Born To Love (Capitol Records 1983)
Oasis (Atlantic Records 1989)
Set The Night To Music (Atlantic Records 1991)
Stop The World (Japanese Records 1992)
Roberta (Atlantic / East West Records 1995)
Christmas Album (Capitol Records 1997)
Friends: Roberta Flack Sings Mariko Takahashi (Japanese Records 1999)
Holiday (Punahele Records 2003)
The Very Best Of Roberta Flack (Atlantic Records 2006)
Let It Be Roberta - Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles (429 Records 2012)