Richie Havens, the folk legend who was known by most music fans as the man who opened the Woodstock Music Festival, has died, according to various reports. He was 72 years old.
Born in Brooklyn, Havens began his life in music by organizing street corner doo-wop music, but ultimately left Brooklyn for Greenwich Village and its burgeoning folk scene. As his reputation grew, he signed with Bob Dylan’s manager and released many albums, eventually earning a place at the Woodstock festival in 1969. His performance at the festival, later seen by millions in the film Woodstock, would boost Havens beyond cult status and introduce him to an audience eager for his soulful vocals and unique style of guitar playing.
Throughout his career, Havens collaborated with everyone from The Who to the Allman Brothers Band; he even had a career as an actor in the 1970’s. Havens had only recently stopped touring, citing health issues.
Havens’ family announced that there would be a public memorial service for the folk singer at some point in the future.