1973 – Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly
The famous cover by the Fugees almost made us forget that Killing Me Softly is a song by Roberta Flack, a successful one. The song was 5 weeks #1 in the US while the album climbed as high as #5. It has been certified 2xPlatinum for more than 2 million sales there in 2006.
As she isn’t widely known, she sold nowhere near as many compilations as someone like Aretha Franklin or Diana Ross. She still sold a few millions of them, most of which thanks to songs from Killing Me Softly. In total, this album generated over 5 million equivalent album sales, enough for the annual award in 1973 since the competition wasn’t strong. The aforementioned Ross did well with Touch Me in the Morning but not as well as Flack.