Singer Roberta Flack Rushed to Hospital From Apollo, Later Released

Roberta Flack attends Black Girls Rock! 2017 backstage at NJPAC on Aug. 5, 2017, in Newark, N.J.
Roberta Flack attends Black Girls Rock! 2017 backstage at NJPAC on Aug. 5, 2017, in Newark, N.J.
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images for BET)

As we continue to rapidly lose icons in the black music world, we’re thankful that all is well with legendary chanteuse Roberta Flack, who was rushed to a New York hospital during a Friday-night performance at the Apollo Theater.


TMZ, which broke the story Friday night, reports that Flack was performing at a charity concert for the Jazz Foundation of America when she fell ill shortly before 9 p.m. EDT and was taken to a hospital in Harlem.

The 81-year-old felt extremely dizzy as she was supposed to walk out onstage to receive an award; she reportedly was able to leave the stage under her own power, but paramedics were called.


Flack’s rep later confirmed that she checked out of the hospital but is still under a doctor’s care for further testing.

Flack had a stroke in 2016, and doctors want to make sure that this episode is not related.

The classically trained pianist and Howard alumna (she entered the school on a music scholarship at 15) has blessed us with hits such as “Killing Me Softly,” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and, with the late Donny Hathaway, “The Closer I Get to You.”

Flack remains the only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for two consecutive years, in 1973 and 1974.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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We cling so hard to our legacy Arts & Entertainment performers that it physically and emotionally hurts across multi-generations. I wish her well, but I want to keep her around for a few more years. She’s our Auntie. 😢