This Day in Black History: March 2, 1974

Roberta Flack wins the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for “Killing Me Softly.”

Posted: 03/02/2014 12:00 AM EST
This Day in Black History: March 2, 1974

Roberta Flack’s second No. 1 hit, “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” followed her great success with her first top rated song, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” However, the second hit, released in 1973, won the Record of the Year category at the Grammy Awards on March 2, 1974.

It was a great achievement for Flack, who was born in Black Mountain, North Carolina, in 1939. She started playing piano at age nine. By 15, she enrolled at Howard University and studied piano and, later, voice. She became a teacher in the Washington, D.C., area and was discovered while singing in clubs.

Her recording career thrived in the 1970s and 1980s and benefitted from a particularly successful collaboration with singer Donny Hathaway.

“Killing Me Softly with His Song” was written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. It was part of an album that was Flack’s biggest-selling recording, eventually earning Double Platinum status. Flack is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

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(Photo: CBS /Landov)

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