American folk legend Pete Seeger dies at age 94 | News | DW | 28.01.2014
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American folk legend Pete Seeger dies at age 94

One of the United States' most famous modern folk singers, Pete Seeger, has died at the age of 94. The troubadour spearheaded a folk music revival during the last half of the 20th century.

The family of Pete Seeger confirmed his death on Tuesday. He reportedly died in a New York hospital of natural causes. Further details were not immediately available.

Pete Seeger was born in New York City on May 3, 1919. Before performing professionally, Seeger spent several years at Harvard University. He belonged to several bands during his early career, which was interrupted when he was drafted during World War II.

The 94-year-old singer and activist rose to fame in 1948 with hits such as "Goodnight, Irene." During his six decades of recording, the lanky New Yorker with a tenor voice became synonymous with American folk music.

Seeger recorded a range of traditional music, civil rights anthems and anti-war songs, generally on his 12-string guitar or 5-string banjo. In the 1950s, his affiliation with the Communist Party landed him on the blacklist and found himself later indicted by Congress.

The singer-songwriter kept company with folk legends such as Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan and penned "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Both songs rose to the top charts in the 1960s thanks to the likes of bands such as Peter, Paul and Mary and the Byrds.

In 1996, Seeger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his influence on American music. In 1997, he won a Grammy for best traditional folk album, followed by two successive Grammys in 2009 and 2011 for the albums "At 89" and "Tomorrow's Children," respectively.

kms/mkg (AP, dpa)