(CNN) — Folk singer Richie Havens, the opening act at the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died Monday of a sudden heart attack, his publicist said. He was 72.
Havens, who retired three years ago, toured for more than 30 years and recorded 30 albums.
“While his family greatly appreciates that Richie’s many fans are also mourning this loss, they do ask for privacy during this difficult time,” a statement from his publicist, Carrie Lombardi, said.
After Havens, a Brooklyn, New York, native, gained attention at Woodstock, he recorded a soulful-voiced cover of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” which rose on the pop charts in 1970.
Havens returned to Woodstock for the 40th anniversary festival in 2009.