Faces & Names: Woodstock singer Havens dies at 72Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, died Monday at age 72.
Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, died Monday at age 72.
Havens died of a heart attack in New Jersey, his family said in a statement. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Havens was known for his crafty guitar work and cover songs, including his well-received cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman.”
His performance at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival, where headliners included Jimi Hendrix, was a turning point in his career. He was the first act to hit the stage, performing for nearly three hours. His performance of “Freedom,” based on the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” became an anthem.
Havens returned to the site during Woodstock’s 40th anniversary in 2009.