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Tributes are paid to folk singer Richie Havens

Tributes are paid to folk singer Richie Havens

TRIBUTES have been paid to the folk singer Richie Havens who has passed away at the age of 72.

With his intense guitar playing and distinctive singing voice, Mr. Havens enjoyed a career which spanned more than 40 years.

He earned a special place in modern music history after opening the Woodstock Festival in 1969. Although he had originally been scheduled to play further down the bill, traffic chaos on the day resulted in a number of other singers being delayed reaching the event. Mr. Haven’s opening session was eventually to last for almost three hours and included his performance of Freedom (see below), which was to become an anthem of the 1960s hippy generation.

Mr. Havens released more than 25 albums and was also known for his soulful covers of pop and folk songs which included The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun (see below).

He had continued to tour until 2010 when ill heath forced him to retire. In 1993 he had performed at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Havens passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in New Jersey.

Many tributes have been paid from across the music world. A statement issued on his official website said: “Beyond his music, those who have met Richie will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humor and his powerful presence”.

The site’s tribute read: “Say not in grief, He is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was”.

To view footage of Richie Havens playing Freedom during his famous opening session at Woodstock, click here.

To see footage of Mr. Havens playing Here Comes The Sun in a 1971 concert, click here.

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