The World Mourns Death Of Musician And Activist, Pete Seeger
The beloved singer, songwriter and musician has left behind a legacy of powerful music and inspiring social activism.
US folk legend Pete Seeger has passed away at the age of 94, The Times report. The exact cause has not been announced, but Seeger reportedly passed away at a New York hospital following a brief illness. Seeger’s career spanned six fruitful decades, after he first came to prominence in the 1940s with his group The Weavers.
Seeger continued to perform and support numerous social justice causes into his 90s.
His musical career was defined by songs like Turn! Turn! Turn! And If I Had A Hammer, but in Seeger’s own words, his protest songs and activism were his most important work. In 1950, Seeger and his music were blacklisted by the Conservative US government for his leftist stance. After he was denied mainstream exposure, the singer/songwriter took his music on the road, touring college campuses and spreading his music and ethos.
Listen to Seeger's If I Had A Hammer below.
His activity often landed him in trouble with authority. In 1955, Seeger was questioned by the Un-American Activities Committee in 1955 over whether he had sung for Communists, replying that he "greatly resented" the implication that his work made him any less American.
He was later charged with contempt of Congress, but his sentence was overturned on appeal. In the 60s, Seeger didn’t slow down in his political activism. After finally being allowed on TV late in the decade, the musician had a song, protesting the Vietnam War cut from broadcast. Eventually, Pete Seeger and his banjo became synonymous with political dissent, as he kept campaigning for various causes throughout his career - l causes from nuclear disarmament to the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.
It's Oct 2011, I'm on a NYC street, I look up & here comes Pete Seeger leading an impromptu Occupy march down B'way! pic.twitter.com/T2OCdio55b— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 28, 2014
In 2009, he was at a gala concert in Washington, ahead of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Obama’s predecessor Bill Clinton praised praised Seeger for being "an inconvenient artist who dared to sing things as he saw them.''
In 1996, when things had begun to calm down for Seeger, at least on the political front, he was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and he won a Grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album, with Pete. Since the announcement of his death, tributes from grieving fans have flooded social media outlets.
His machine surrounded hate and forced it to surrender. Rest in peace, Pete Seeger. pic.twitter.com/4OrXkzeyxS— John Green (@realjohngreen) January 28, 2014