Richie Havens, Folk and Protest Singer, Dead at 72

Debuting at Woodstock in 1969, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born singer was famous for his song "Freedom."

Posted:
 
richie20havens575x42213lc
Singer Richie Havens performs during the Solidays music festival in Paris. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

On Monday, folk and protest singer Richie Havens died of a heart attack. He was 72, reports the Washington Post.

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 [on] 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.

Read more at the Washington Post.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.  

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.