- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (16)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Distraction 2
American musician, singer, guitarist and songwriter, widely recognized as a premier interpreter of Bob Dylan songs due in part to his striking rendition of Dylan’s "Just Like A Woman." In 1968 he first hit the Billboard charts with his album, "Something Else Again." It was, however, a spellbinding performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 that rocketed him to superstardom with his stunning performance of "Freedom," which became the very voice of Woodstock. Havens’ fiery, poignant, always soulful style has electrified audiences for more than four decades.
The eldest of nine kids, Ritchie’s musical sensibility was influenced by his dad, an "ear" piano player, as well as years of exposure to a wide variety of musical styles in his culturally mixed neighborhood. He started as a street-corner singer of doo-wop and at 16, became a member of the McCrea Gospel Singers. Honing his skills in clubs and cafes, his debut album was produced in 1965, selling at first to the underground crowd until he began to hit the charts. Mostly appearing in pop festivals, benefits concerts and varying stage theatres, he signed successively with four record companies and was noted for his many benefits. Havens appeared in the movie "Catch My Soul," 1974, "Greased Lightning," 1977 and TV-PBS specials.
In the mid-1970s, the ecologically aware Havens co-founded the Northwinds Undersea Institute, an oceanographic museum for children. He himself is a vegetarian.
The decade of the’90s was memorable for Havens’ noteworthy performances at the Earth Ball, an inaugural event for President Clinton in January 1993, as well as a performance for the Dalai Lama of Tibet on 4/08/1993. After a triumphant appearance at the Troubadours of Folk Festival on 6/06/1993, the audience refused to let him leave the stage, his performance being described as "urgently fierce." "Resume: The Best of Richie Havens on Rhino Records," a collection of his recordings from the late ’60s-early ’70s, was released in 1993. Widely admired for his passion and integrity, Havens truly is a legend in his own time.