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February 10, 2020

Stunning Portraits of Roberta Flack Taken by Jack Robinson in November 1969

Roberta Flack photographed by Jack Robinson in November, 1969. These photographs were taken after her first release First Take which contained the hit “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. Photos from this session were used for her her second album Chapter Two (1970).

Roberta Flack is known as a singer of soulful jazz and pop ballads. Her particular heyday was the 1970s, when she recorded a string of hits including “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, “Where Is the Love” (a duet with former Howard University classmate Donny Hathaway), “Killing Me Softly With His Song”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “The Closer I Get to You”, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love”, and “Set the Night to Music”.

In 1999, a star with Flack’s name was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa; the final performance was attended by President Nelson Mandela. In 2010, she appeared on the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing a duet of “Where Is The Love” with Maxwell.

In February 2012, Flack released Let it Be Roberta, an album of Beatles covers including “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”. It was her first recording in over eight years. Flack knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as both households moved in 1975 into The Dakota apartment building in New York City, and had apartments across the hall from each other. Flack has stated that she has already been asked to do a second album of Beatles covers. She is currently involved in an interpretative album of the Beatles’ classics.

At age 80, Flack made her most recent recording, Running, the closing credits song of the 2018 feature documentary 3100: Run and Become with music and lyrics by Michael A. Levine.

(Photos by Jack Robinson)


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