Her agent said late on Monday, November 14 that the singer best known for her megahit “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS as it is more commonly known, is a progressive disease that “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak.”

ALS breaks down the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that make muscles work. In the long run that leads paralysis and death.

Her publicists said in a statement that although the disease has affected her voice “It will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

Flack, now 85, enjoyed major success in the seventies with several number ones and 20 studio albums. 

The star, who is the subject of a documentary that is about to hit TV screens in America, won four Grammys and was honoured with a lifetime achievement award in 2020.

She is also the first to win two consecutive record of the year trophies. She achieved that fame in 1973 with “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” and in 1974 for “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”

Flack is also in the process of releasing a children’s book.