Folk Legend Odetta Passes Away At 77

'Queen of folk' loses battle with long-term illness

Stentorian folk icon Odetta has died at 77 after a ten-year struggle with chronic heart disease and pulmonary fibrosis in her lungs.

The singer’s manager Douglas Yeager said Odetta passed away late Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

"May Odetta’s luminous spirit and volcanic voice from the heavens live on for the ages," Yeager said in a statement. "Her her voice will never die."

Many of Birmigham, Alabama-born singer’s songs became associated with the American civil rights movement and she was famously dubbed the "queen of American folk music" by Martin Luther King Jr.

Odetta’s music was influenced by the Deep South prison and work songs of the Great Depression and is credited with inspiring the young Bob Dylan to trade his electric guitar for an acoustic. She had hoped to be well enough to perform at US President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration celebrations in January next year.

Odetta, ‘Water Boy’

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