Roberta Flack and the Legacy of "Killing Me Softly With His Song"

Roberta Flack

You might have heard a chilling rendition of "Killing Me Softly With His Song," through the phones of kids around you. The Tik Tok generation has reinterpreted the signature Roberta Flack hit to drive the fandom behind the Korean comic book series Killing Stalking.

READ MORE: Roberta Flack's Debut 'First Take' Sees 50th Anniversary Release

The trend on the video platform combines the brooding nature of the song with the psychological thriller plot of the Korean manga. The resulting videos, spinning the Fugees 1966 version as Lauryn Hill sings "Strumming my pain with his fingers/ Singing my life with his words," spoof on the series' dark relationship between two troubled individuals. 

@iloveprompto

PLEASE WE NEED TO TAKE BACK THIS AUDIO FROM THEM ##ks##killingstaking##killingstalkin##sangwoo##yoonbum##manga##bl##manhwa##yaoi##anime##weeb##fyp

♬ fnaf but with a twist - tanj1ro.kamad0

The creator of the series, Koogi, has since paid tribute to Flack's Grammy-winning rendition of the timeless tune, addressing to her fans that the protagonist, Sangwoo, listens the Roberta Flack version of the song, which was originally penned by songwriters Lori Lieberman, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox. 

Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack first heard Lori Lieberman's recording of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" on an in-flight radio audio program. Immediately falling in love with the song and its title, Flack changed up the arrangement with flair, transforming the folksy tune into a soft, magical soul-jazz number.

RELATED: Listen to Unearthed Roberta Flack Demo "Hush-A-Bye"

Inspired by a Don McLean show at L.A.'s Troubadour, folk singer Lori Lieberman shared her original idea for what would become "Killing Me Softly With His Song" with songwriters Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox. Reminiscing in an interview, Flack described her instant emotional connection to Lieberman's recording of the song, sharing she "absolutely freaked" when she first head it.

One night at the Los Angeles' Greek Theater, Flack opened for the gifted legend Marvin Gaye with her cover of the song. Promptly recognizing the song's deep potential, Gaye urgently instructed Flack to record her version and the rest is history. 

Released as the title track to her landmark 1973 album Killing Me Softly, Flack's recording for Atlantic Records went to No. 1 for five weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 in February 1973. 

The brooding, bluesy hit also won two Grammys, including Song of the Year in 1974, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

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