Throwback: Roberta Flack: Killing Me Softly With His Song

Roberta Flack was first inspired to cover “Killing Me Softly With His Song” after hearing it while traveling on an airplane. She soon became to work on her own version and performed it live in 1972 as the opening act for Marvin Gaye. The audience responded with excitement and Gaye urged her to record it right away. Lori Lieberman wrote the song in collaboration with Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox. She released her recording of “Killing Me Softly With His Song” in 1972 but it failed to gain on the charts. Flack’s interpretation landed on her 1973 also titled Killing Me Softly and her classical meets soul version became a hit. The song earned her two Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. This time was the height of Flack’s commercial success and the album became her most sought after by the public. “Killing Me Softly With His Song” would become popular again in the ’90s when The Fugees added it to their 1996 album The Score. Roberta Flack received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. The beginning of her career will be celebrated with the release of the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of her debut album First Take in spring 2020. 

 

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