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Veteran US folk musician Richie Havens, whose distinctive guitar and singing style made him a star of the iconic 1969 Woodstock festival, died Monday, his agent said. He was 72.
Havens "was gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music," said the Roots agency in announcing the death, adding: "His fiery, poignant, soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless"
The bearded singer, who retired from touring three years ago after more than four decades on the road, died at home of a sudden heart attack, according to the website of industry magazine Billboard.
Describing him as "known for his distinctive intense, rhythmic guitar style and soulful covers of pop and folk songs," it noted that he had one Billboard Hot 100 single, a cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."
The song reached number 16 in May 1971. Havens also had 13 albums that charted on Billboard 200, including one in the top 40: 1971's "Alarm Clock," which peaked at number 29.
As well as Woodstock, Havens "played the most legendary music festivals that ever were, and most of the world's greatest concert venues," including The Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, Billboard said.
It cited a spokesman as saying: "While his family greatly appreciates that Richie's many fans are also mourning this loss, they do ask for privacy during this difficult time."