Folk Legend Richie Havens Passes
April 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM (PT)
NEW YORK CITY folk singer RICHIE HAVENS died today of a heart attack at his home in JERSEY CITY, NJ; he was 72.
HAVENS will go down in history as the man who kicked off the legendary WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL in 1969. Actually fifth on the bill, concert organizers pleaded with and successfully persuaded HAVENS and his group to go on first, since most everyone else were delayed by the massive traffic jams. He took the stage shortly after 5pn and did multiple encores to buy time for fellow performers still struggling to reach the site.
HAVENS' career spanned over 40 years; three years ago, he retired from touring.
A statement from HAVENS representative stated: "While his family greatly appreciates that RICHIE's many fans are also mourning this loss, they do ask for privacy during this difficult time."
A public memorial will be planned for a later date.