Who was Roberta Flack’s husband? A peek into singer's six-year marriage as she is diagnosed with ALS

The news about Flack's health comes just days before the release of 'Roberta', a documentary that will explore the depth and complexity of Flack's musical choices

Who was Roberta Flack’s husband? A peek into singer's six-year marriage as she is diagnosed with ALS
Roberta Flack (L) married professional jazz bassist Steven Novosel (R) in 1966 (Andy Kropa/Getty Images and Conversations in jazz/YouTube)
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NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Grammy-winning musician Roberta Flack, 85, has been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The singer can no longer sing due to the condition. As previously reported, a spokesperson said in a press release on Monday, November 14, 2022, that the disease has made it "impossible [for her] to sing and not easy to speak. Flack plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits. Her fortitude and joyful embrace of music that lifted her from modest circumstances to the international spotlight remain vibrant and inspired."

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The update comes just days before the release of 'Roberta', a documentary that will explore the depth and complexity of Flack's lyrical and thematic choices, according to Billboard. The documentary is set to be premiered at DOC NYC film festival on November 17. Flack, who shot to fame in the late 1960s, as per Popsugar, is known for hits like 'Killing Me Softly With His Song' and 'The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face', which was also used in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 movie 'Play Misty for Me'. In 1973, the song also won the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year. And in 1974, she won her second 'Record Of The Year' for ''Killing Me Softly With His Song'.

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The only marriage

Flack's musical journey climbed up the ladder, but her married life was short-lived. According to AmoMama, in 1966, she got married to professional jazz bassist Steven Novosel. They welcomed a son Bernard Wright, who was a funk and jazz keyboardist and singer and passed away this year in May. In 1972, the duo parted ways. During an interview amid their divorce, the singer reportedly called the ending "very tragic". 

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AmoMama further states Flack's brother was against their interracial marriage and even Novosel's family wasn't supportive of the union. Talking briefly about it, in 2020, when she was asked by Closer Weekly, "What did you learn from your 1965–’72 marriage to musician Steve Novosel, and was your interracial relationship tough?" She responded, "[I learned] that love is love, and no one has the right to judge it. Steve and I remain fast friends to this day. Our love endures, although its form has changed."

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Who is Steve Novosel?

Born in 1940, Novosel has over four decades of experience as a professional Jazz bassist during which he explored various genres, including traditional jazz, swing, bebop, mainstream, and avant-garde, as per ABTC. His first musical instrument was the piano that he started playing as a child and also performed traditional Croatian folk songs from a young age. He then attended high school in New York and then did a three-year course in advanced trumpet study. Following this, he joined the US Army Band at Ft Myer, Virginia.

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