The first of Roberta Flack's US number one hits lay dormant on her largely unnoticed debut album, First Take, for three years until Clint Eastwood chose to use it in the soundtrack to his first feature as a director, Play Misty For Me, in 1972. The song, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, was a folk love song by Ewan MacColl and, while the cover version may not have been to the writer's taste, it has since become synonymous with Flack and established her light touch and easy style while maintaining a deep emotional connection with the lyric. She topped the US charts twice again during the 70s with Killing Me Softly With His Song, originally recorded by Lori Lieberman whose reactions to a live performance by Don McLean are described in the lyric, and again in 1974 with Feel Like Makin' Love, a composition which, this time, Flack was the first to record. She continued to enjoy chart success into the 80s and beyond, most notably singing duets such as Tonight I Celebrate My Love with Peabo Bryson.
Followers: Donna Summer, Leona Lewis, Lauren Hill
Influenced By: Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke
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