Woodstock's Richie Havens, 72, dies of heart attack - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Woodstock's Richie Havens, 72, dies of heart attack

Posted: Updated:
Richie Havens performs at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, R.I., Aug. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin) Richie Havens performs at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, R.I., Aug. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)

By MESFIN FEKADU | AP Music Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, died Monday, his family said. He was 72.

Havens died of a heart attack, the family said it a statement. Further details on his death were not immediately disclosed.

Havens was known for his crafty guitar work and cover songs, including his well-received impersonation of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman."

His performance at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival, where headliners included Jimi Hendrix, was a turning point in his career. He was the first act to hit the stage, performing for nearly three hours. His performance of "Freedom" — based from the spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" — became an anthem.

Havens returned to the site during Woodstock's 40th anniversary in 2009.

"Everything in my life, and so many others, is attached to that train," he said in an interview that year with The Associated Press.

Havens had originally been scheduled to go on fifth at Woodstock but had been bumped up because of travel delays. Festival producer Michael Lang said in the book "The Road to Woodstock" that he chose Havens "because of his calm but powerful demeanor."

Havens' website said he had kidney surgery years ago and that he never recovered enough to perform concerts like he used to.

Havens, who was born in Brooklyn, performed at Bill Clinton's presidential Inauguration in 1993. Havens, who released his debut "Mixed Bag" in 1967, has released more than 25 albums. His last album was 2008's "Nobody Left to Crown." He also started his own record label called Stormy Forest in 2000.

"I really sing songs that move me," he said in an interview with The Denver Post. "I'm not in show business; I'm in the communications business. That's what it's about for me."

Richie also became an actor in the 1970s and was featured in the original stage presentation of The Who's "Tommy." He appeared in the 1974 film "Catch My Soul" and co-starred with Richard Pryor in "Greased Lightning" in 1977.

Havens was eldest of nine children. A public memorial for Havens will be planned for a later date.

http://www.richiehavens.com

 

  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Jersey Shore's The Situation to take anger management classes following fight

    Jersey Shore's The Situation to take anger management classes following fight

    Mike Sorrentino, better known as "The Situation" from Jersey Shore, has found himself in quite the situation.
    Mike Sorrentino, better known as "The Situation" from Jersey Shore, has found himself in quite the situation.
  • Evanescence singer Amy Lee welcomes son

    Evanescence singer Amy Lee welcomes son

    Congratulations are in order for Amy Lee! The Evanescence frontwoman welcomed her first child with husband Josh Hartzler on Monday.
    Congratulations are in order for Amy Lee! The Evanescence frontwoman welcomed her first child with husband Josh Hartzler on Monday.
  • Bieber, Bloom fight at Spain nightclub

    Bieber, Bloom fight at Spain nightclub

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:38 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:38:30 GMT
    Pop star Justin Bieber and movie star Orlando Bloom reportedly got into a heated altercation that included punches thrown while at a nightclub in Ibiza, Spain. Bloom allegedly took a swing a Bieber over comments the 20-year-old made about Bloom's estranged wife, supermodel Miranda Kerr, reported the NY Post's Page Six. The paper cites sources who say Bieber told Bloom "she was good" after Bloom refused to shake hands with the Canadian crooner.
    Pop star Justin Bieber and movie star Orlando Bloom reportedly got into a heated altercation that included punches thrown while at a nightclub in Ibiza, Spain. Bloom allegedly took a swing a Bieber over comments the 20-year-old made about Bloom's estranged wife, supermodel Miranda Kerr, reported the NY Post's Page Six. The paper cites sources who say Bieber told Bloom "she was good" after Bloom refused to shake hands with the Canadian crooner.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices