Hers is one of the greatest voices in soul music and her biggest song has gone down as one of the most recognisable of the 20th century.

Sadly, however, it is unlikely that we will ever hear Roberta Flack sing again, as the star has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Motor Neurone Disease.

The 'Killing Me Softly with His Sing' singer, who first came to international prominence with her cover of Ewan MacColl's 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' in 1972, can no longer sing due to her diagnosis.

Reps for the 85-year-old released a statement confirming that the disease "has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak."

"But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon," they added, saying that she nonetheless "plans to stay active in her musical and creative pursuits".

The reason for her management sharing the news of her health is due to a new documentary about Flack's life titled 'Roberta', which is set to premiere in New York later this week.

She also plans to publish a children's book in January.

There is sadly no cure for MND/ALS, which affects the neural pathways that connect the brain to the muscles. The progressive disease causes paralysis which makes it difficult for sufferers to move, talk and even breathe.