David Olney: American folk singer dies on stage aged 71

David Olney, Singer-Songwriter, Dies During Performance

David Olney, seen here performing in Denver in 2015, died after suffering a heart attack Saturday.

Witnesses say that during his performance, he took a moment to close his eyes, and then passed away on stage without any visible signs of pain or anguish.

"Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologised, and shut his eyes", Rigby wrote on Facebook. "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".

Scott Miller, who was also on stage with Olney, said he had attempted to revive the singer. "We all lost someone important last night", she added.

A half-hour performance Olney gave earlier in the day on his own was captured on video and posted to YouTube.

Our thoughts are with David's family and friends during this hard time.

Olney was a revered figure in the folk-rock and Americana communities who had recorded 20 albums of his own as well as having his songs covered by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury and his former roommate Steve Earle. In this moment, I can't find the right words for what it means to me that our last recorded song was called "Death Will Not Divide Us". Harris included Olney's composition "Jerusalem Tomorrow" on her album Cowgirl's Prayer and co-wrote "Deeper Well" with Olney and Daniel Lanois for her album Wrecking Ball.

He was performing alongside Amy Rigby and Scott Miller at the annual 30A Songwriters Festival.

David Olney died doing what he loved.

Olney, who was born on March 23, 1948, was a native of Lincoln, R.I., and moved to Nashville in 1973, after studying English for a time at the University of North Carolina. Another legend to pass away in the music industry in the past year was the "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer, Eddie Money, who suddenly died back in September of 2019.

Olney performed a live broadcast every Tuesday on his website with his "You Never Know" Songwriter Series - featuring the story behind a song and its performance along with other personal observations.

According to Billboard.com, Olney is survived by his wife, Regine, daughter, Lillian, and son, Redding.

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