The former teacher continues to be heavily invested in the welfare of today's youth. She has launched The Roberta Flack School of Music in conjunction with the Hyde Leadership Charter School in New York to offer disadvantaged children a free after-school music program.
She credits her own classical training with providing the confidence and ability to take on the Beatles songs on Let It Be Roberta, including a languid, sensual interpretation of "Here, There and Everywhere," recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 1972 (the rest of the songs on the album are new recordings). That tune served as the genesis of the project. "I love that song and I hadn't done it in awhile," Flack recalls.
The new album also contains an inventive take on a funky "Come Together" and a romantic version of "The Long and Winding Road," which Flack and producer Sherrod Barnes turn into a compelling duet.
One Beatles favorite was off the table from the start: "Get Back." "You know, I never heard myself [singing it] after I heard Tina [Turner] do it and saw her body move," Flack says with a laugh. "I said, 'OK, I'll forget that one. That one is not for me.'"