So sad. The beloved folk singer suddenly passed away at the age of 72 after suffering from a heart attack. Richie is remembered for his breakthrough performance at Woodstock.
Richie Havens, legendary folk singer who shot to fame after his 1969 Woodstock music festival opening performance, died on April 22 at the age of 72.
Richie Havens Dies After Heart Attack
The famed folk singer’s publicist told CNN he died of a sudden heart attack. He had been retired from music for three years. Richie spent 30 years touring after his breakthrough Woodstock performance, and recorded a whopping 30 albums.
Richie’s Iconic Opening Woodstock Performance
The folk singer told Billboard about his legendary Woodstock opening performance, and revealed he was supposed to be the fifth act. But when the opening act was stuck in traffic, he was asked to open the music festival — a performance that would open doors for a successful music career.
In 1999, he told CNN how his musical talents allowed him to leave his rough neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York and move to the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Manhattan for the flourishing music scene here. He told CNN:
“I believe I inherited my sense of music from my father. My father was an ear piano player; he could just hear something and play it. I came up in Brooklyn singing doo-wop music from the time I was 13 to the time I was 20. That music served a purpose of keeping a lot of people out of trouble, and also it was a passport from one neighborhood to another.”
Such a tragedy. Richie will be missed, and remembered for his inspiring music.
— Christina Stiehl