Folk singer Richie Havens, assured a place in music history as the opening act at the original Woodstock festival, has died of a heart attack aged 72. The singer’s reps at the Roots Agency confirmed to Reuters yesterday that he had died at his New Jersey home.
A statement from Havens’ family, who also confirmed a public memorial would be announced in due course, said of the singer: “Beyond his music, those who have met him will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humour and his powerful presence”.
Meanwhile the Roots Agency said in a statement that Havens had been “gifted with one of the most recognisable voices in popular music”, adding that “his fiery, poignant, soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless”.
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