Woodstock legend “Freedom” RICHIE HAVENS gone at age 72.
Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who electrified the wold was the first onstage at the fabled Woodstock music festival died in New Jersey from a sudden heart attack.
Havens released more than 25 albums.
In his Brooklyn neighborhood, growing up, he sang with doo-wop groups on the street corner. By age 20, he joined other freethinking, artists, rebels and musicians in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, performing poetry, listened to the emerging folk music scene and taught himself to playthe guitar.
"I saw the Village as a place to escape to in order to express yourself," he said in his bio.
Havens' website said that he had kidney surgery in 2010 and that he never recovered to perform like he used to. He had performed at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration in 1993.
Richie’s performance at the three-day 1969 Woodstock Festival, where headliners included Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baze and other tops acts from the 1960s, was a turning point in his career. He was the first artist to hit the stage, performing for nearly three hours while the otherf acts arrived from far flung points of origin.
His performance of "Freedom," based from the classic spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," became an rallying point of the hippies counter cultural rebellion.
"Everything in my life, and so many others, is attached to that train," he once said.