Groove Armada star Tom Findlay has written a moving tribute to the band's collaborator Richie Havens following his death on Monday (22Apr13), hailing him as a "true musical hero".
The Woodstock festival legend passed away at the age of 72 after suffering a heart attack at his home in New Jersey, and Findlay admits he was shocked and saddened by the "awful news".
Havens collaborated with the dance music duo on a number of tracks for the band's third album, 2001's Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub), and he also performed a series of shows with them, including an appearance at Britain's Glastonbury festival in 2002.
Findlay has written about the group's relationship with Havens in an article for Britain's The Guardian, branding their joint performance at Glastonbury one of "our defining moments as a band" and calling the late star a true inspiration.
He writes, "We sat on tour buses and in rehearsal rooms with him. We had a front-row seat before a true musical hero. Like all great men, Richie had an ability to make people feel relaxed around him... I remember him meeting our mums backstage (they were fans from 1968): they'd be in bits, and he always looked genuinely moved by their strength of feeling...
"Hearing the awful news last night that Richie had died, I started thinking back to all the times we had worked with him. My abiding memory is of a magic energy he carried around him. You could hear it in the reaction of the crowd whenever he took to the stage; you heard it in his voice. I'll miss that more than anything."