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Richie Havens, Folk and Woodstock Legend, Dead at 72

- Common Dreams staff

Richie Havens opens the Woodstock Music & Art Festival in August 1969.

Richie Havens, the folk singer who was the opening act of Woodstock, the legendary 1969 music festival, has died. He was only 72.

He died today of a heart attack at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey, according to his booking agent, The Roots Agency.

The Roots Agency represented Richie Havens for many years and regrets to post of his passing on April 22, 2013.

RICHIE HAVENS was gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. His fiery, poignant, soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless since his historic appearance at Woodstock in 1969. For four decades, Havens used his music to convey passionate messages of brotherhood and personal freedom. Billboard Magazine writes, “This acoustic soul giant truly seems to be getting more inspiring and graceful with age.”

From Woodstock to The Isle of Wight to Glastonbury to the Fillmore Auditorium to Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall, Richie played the most legendary music festivals that ever were, and most of the world’s greatest concert venues. But even when performing in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse or a small club or regional theater, he was eternally grateful that people in any number turned up each time to hear him sing. More than anything, he feels incredibly blessed to have met so many of you along the way.

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Richie Havens, 1941-2013

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