Female R&B singers were expected to be forceful, big-voiced divas (like Aretha Franklin) or come-hither seductresses (like Diana Ross), but Roberta Flack had her own unique approach. Flack's voice is vast, deep, and stately--where some singers confuse frenzy with passion, she is confident, majestic, and unhurried, intense in a profound yet reserved manner. Flack's gift is to draw attention to the song, not herself. The title song, :"Killing Me Softly," was her second number-one hit, establishing her as a major modern R&B stylist. She didn't limit herself by genre, either--Flack gave distinctive interpretations of songs by major folk singer-songwriters Janis Ian ("Jesse") and Leonard Cohen ("Suzanne"), and she played up-tempo tunes when it struck her fancy ("I'm The Girl").
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