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Roberta Flack celebrates 50th anniversary of “Killing Me Softly With His Song” with all-new remix

Roberta Flack
Courtesy Jeri Jones Photography

Hard to believe it’s been 50 years since we first heard Roberta Flack‘s “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” but now she’s breathed new life into the classic hit.

The singer teamed up with DJ Spinna to release her Grammy-winning hit as a new funk electric remix. The release also doubles as a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Atlantic Records, which signed her in 1969.

Fans should think of the release as an appetizer ahead of PBS airing the documentary about how Flack crafted her music genius and became a powerhouse in the industry.

American Masters: Roberta Flack premieres January 24 at 9 p.m. ET and will be packed with exclusive performances, home videos, interviews and other goodies from the legendary singer’s archives. Flack will also share the story about how “Killing Me Softly” came to be.

She teases she first heard the Lori Lieberman demo when flying to New York City and was inspired to create her own version. “To my ears, it sounded better. I was not limited to just taking the song off of the page of music,” she said.

She performed the song for the first time about two weeks later at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater, where she opened for Quincy Jones. “After I finished, the audience would not stop screaming, and Quincy said, ‘Ro, don’t sing that daggone song no more until you record it.’ And I said ‘OK.’ And that was it,” she recalled.

In November Flack’s team revealed she had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS. They said the singer’s symptoms have “made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak.” The statement added, “But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon.”

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