A soulful-voiced figure on the rock and folk scenes for more than five decades, Richie Havens rose to worldwide fame with a stirring appearance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, which led to a lengthy career as a recording and touring act. He started out as part of the Greenwich Village folk circuit in the early 1960s, where he slowly built a following with his earthy voice and passionate renditions of songs by the Beatles and Bob Dylan, as well as original material. After recording for Jimi Hendrix producer Alan Douglas and later the Verve label, Havens gave an extraordinary opening performance at Woodstock, where he improvised the stirring song "Freedom," introducing him to international audiences and establishing him as a popular live act. He also scored the occasional radio hit, most notably a cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" that reached No. 16 on the Billboard 200 in 1970. Though he was unable to maintain his footing on the pop charts, Havens continued to record and tour for the next three decades, while also contributing songs to television advertisements, acting in several feature films, and working on various environmental causes. Havens remained a symbol of the Aquarian ideals proposed at Woodstock through his powerful voice and commitment to enlightening and uplifting people through music, even after his death in 2013.