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Folk legend Richie Havens dies at 72

Richie Havens

Folk legend Richie Havens dies at 72

    Famed folk singer Richie Havens, the opening act at the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died.

    Monday of a sudden heart attack, his publicist said. He was 72.

    Havens, who retired three years ago, toured for more than 30 years and recorded 30 albums.

    He once told Billboard that his breakthrough at Woodstock came after another artist’s equipment got stuck in traffic. He was supposed to be the fifth act.

    “It was 5 o’clock and nothing was happening yet,” Havens said. “I had the least instruments (to set up on stage) and the least people (in his band).” So Havens went on and performed for 40 minutes, as planned. Organizers asked him to do four more songs.

    “I went back and did that, then it was, ‘Four more songs…’ and that kept happening ’til two hours and 45 minutes later, I had sung every song I know,” he said.



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