ROBERTA Flack will be appearing at the Casino in the Sol de Mallorca urbanisation in Calvia tonight, in the Jazz Voyeur Festival.
Flack was born in Asheville, North Carolina, the daughter of a church organist, and began playing the piano at an early age.
She won a scholarship to Harvard and after graduating, became a teacher. She was discovered singing in a jazz club, and was signed up by Atlantic, but while her first two albums proved to be popular, they did not produce a hit single. But all that changed when The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face from her first album was included on the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood film Play Misty For Me. That was in 1972 and it topped the charts in the US for six weeks, making it one of the biggest hits of that year. Her duet with Donny Hathaway, Where is the Love, won the 1974 Grammy for Record of the Year. She and Hathaway continued recording successfully together until Hathaway's suicide in 1979. Flack's second number one hit was Killing Me Softly With His Song in 1973. She continued to produce hits throughout the 1970s, and in 1983 recorded another of her major hits, Tonight, I Celebrate My Love, with Peabo Bryson. She spent the 1980s touring and recording, appearing on occasions alongside jazz great Miles Davis.
She topped the charts again in 1991, with Set the Night to Music, a duet with Maxi Priest.
A world tour, taking in countries from Argentina to Australia and Turkey, at the end of the 1990s showed once again that her music appeals to people around the globe. In 2002, she released a DVD, Roberta Flack in Concert. In recent years she has appeared with young singers such as Alicia Keys, Aria and Angie Stone.
Her 2003 album, Holidays, included a collection of her favourite songs, while her most recent album, Songs from the Neighbourhood, is a tribute to the music of Fred “Mr” Rogers. Roberta Flack will be including old and new favourites in her performance at the Casino tonight.


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