Richie Havens publicists have just announced:
Beloved folk icon Richie Havens died this morning in his home from a sudden heart attack. He was 72.
Havens first became part of musical history during his impromptu opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Best known for his distinctive intense, rhythmic guitar style and soulful covers of pop and folk songs, Havens toured and recorded music for over 40 years before retiring from the road 3 years ago. Beyond his music, those who have met Havens will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humor and his powerful presence.
While his family greatly appreciates that Richie’s many fans are also mourning this loss, they do ask for privacy during this difficult time.
A public memorial will be planned for a later date
What a loss. I recall hearing his album for the first time in 1968, pre-Woodstock. “Run Shaker Life” was an extraordinary song which defined his distinctive style.
Played at one of the first Alive at Five’s on Pearl St. Back in the day and was solid!
My hubby and I were fortunate to see his free performance at GPAC the first summer we moved back to the Capital Region in summer 2000 along with one by Ruth Pelham from the Music Mobile. We were both blessed with and blown away by his talent and presence.
Forever memorialized singing “Freedom” spontaneously at Woodstock. A gentle Soul. An astonishing Musician, Singer and Human Being. His ‘Open E’ strumming boiled any song down to its essence, and he actually cared for Humanity.
A Friend of mine, I believe saw him perform at the old
Van Dyck in Schenectady. I was sorry I missed it. Richie
has an Album: “Mixed Bag”, that should be heard by any
Musician attempting relevance, in any Age. He is Unique.
Very sad news to learn that my friend of some 40 years has passed away. Today is filled with fond memories of the times we’ve spent together. May God bless you, Richie. Your music will live on forever.
My condolences to his family and friends.