Folk Singer David Olney Dies On Stage, Aged 71

Folk singer David Olney died over the weekend at the age of 71, during a performance at a music festival in Florida.

On Saturday night, David was giving his second performance of the day at the 30A Songwriters Festival, when he suddenly stopped in the middle of his performance, leading some audience members to believe he was just “taking a moment” to gather himself.

Fellow singer-songwriter Amy Rigby was on stage with David at the time of his death, describing his final “graceful and dignified” moments in a Facebook post.

“Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologised, and shut his eyes,” she wrote. “He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket we laughed about because it was raining like hell outside the boathouse where we were playing…”

David Olney performing in 2015 (Photo: Larry Hulst via Getty Images)

She added: “I just want the picture to be as graceful and dignified as it was, because it at first looked like he was just taking a moment.”

Another singer-songwriter, Scott Miller, was also present at the time of David’s death, and paid tribute to him on Facebook, writing: “What a force, what a writer.”

He said: “David was playing a song when he paused, said ‘I’m sorry’ and put his chin to his chest. He never dropped his guitar or fell off his stool. It was as easy and gentle as he was.

“We got him down and tried our best to revive him until the EMTs [emergency medical technicians] arrived.

“The world lost a good one last night. But we still have his work. And it still inspires. And always will.”

Earlier in the day, David’s first performance at the 30A Songwriters Festival – which would ultimately be the last he would ever complete – was recorded and shared on his YouTube channel.

During his music career, David released a total of 20 albums, both as a solo artist and as part of the group The X-Rays.

He is survived by his wife, Regine, and their children Redding and Lillian.


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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.