LOS ANGELES—Grammy-winning musician Roberta Flack has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and can no longer sing, her representatives said on Monday.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive disease, “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak,” a statement from her publicists said. “But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”
A documentary about Flack’s life is set to debut at a film festival in New York next week. It will air on PBS television in January. Flack, 85, also is releasing a children’s book in January.
ALS breaks down nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that make muscles work, leading to progressive paralysis and death.
Flack had several No. 1 hits in the 1970s and produced 20 studio albums. She won four Grammys and was honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2020.