London: Richie Havens, the American folk singer who opened the 1969 Woodstock rock festival, died at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was 72.
His agent Roots Agency reported that he died of a heart attack, the BBC reported.
The musician born in Brooklyn, New York, was most famous for his distinctive guitar and singing style.
Havens` improvised version of the gospel song ` Motherless Child` evolved into `Freedom` at the festival and became an anthem of the 1960s hippie generation.
The soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino`s award-winning slavery-era film `Django Unchained` featured him singing a version of his ` Freedom .`
He underwent kidney surgery in 2010 butnever recovered enough to perform gigs.
Havens released more than 25 albums in his lifetime and other songs he recorded include versions of Bob Dylan`s `Just Like a Woman` and the Beatles` `Here Comes the Sun.`