Richie Havens, an American folk singer who gave the opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, has died. He was 72.
According to his family, Havens died of a heart attack on April 22. He had kidney surgery several years back and never fully recovered from it, and it was announced in 2012 that he was unable to continue touring as he had in the past. Havens did perform at the sold out 40th anniversary Woodstock concert in 2009.
“Richie played the most legendary music festivals that ever were, and most of the world’s greatest concert venues,” a statement on his website reads. “But even when performing in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse or a small club or regional theater, he was eternally grateful that people in any number turned up each time to hear him sing.”
A public memorial is being planned for a later date.