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.
Editors Note – I had the pleasure to speak with Richie on 2 different occasions I have to say he was one of my all time favorite people I have interviewed. Here is the interview from 8/27/2008 and the first interview from 3/20/2008.