Folk singer Pete Seeger dies

Pete Seeger at the Folk Dream Gala Concert at Massey Hall in Toronto in 1997. (QMI Agency, file)

Pete Seeger at the Folk Dream Gala Concert at Massey Hall in Toronto in 1997. (QMI Agency, file)

WENN.com

, Last Updated: 6:40 AM ET

Folk icon Pete Seeger has died at the age of 94.

The legendary musician passed away at the New York Presbyterian Hospital on Monday after a short illness.

Seeger gained recognition performing with Woody Guthrie before forming The Weavers in 1948. The band inspired a boom in folk music and their rendition of Goodnight, Irene stayed atop the U.S. charts for 13 weeks in 1950.

Seeger, who also co-penned songs such as Turn, Turn, Turn! and If I Had A Hammer, was blacklisted during the 1950s when he was accused of supporting Communism, but returned to the spotlight in the 1960s as a popular protest singer, campaigning against nuclear weapons, the Vietnam war and in support of the Civil Rights movement.

During his six-decade career, he appeared on dozens of albums and was honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. He received the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts and Kennedy Center Honor a year later.

His death comes seven months after the passing of his beloved wife, artist and activist Toshi Seeger, last July. She was 91. They were days away from celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary and were parents to three children. Their firstborn, Peter, died at the age of six months in 1944.


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