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Born: 1930-12-31 - Died: 2008-12-02
Cause of Death:
Heart Disease

Death Summary: In November 2008, Odetta’s health began a freefall. She was receiving treatment at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. She died less than a month later on December 2, 2008 from heart disease in New York City.

She was scheduled to perform at Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009.

Who was Odetta : She was an African-American songwriter, guitarist, actress, singer, and most notable a civil rights activist. She is often referred to as “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement”.

Her style of music was mainly American folk music, jazz, blues and spiritual songs. It’s been noted that her style influenced Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan.

Dylan was even quoted as saying; “The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta. I heard a record of hers (Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues) in a record store, back when you could listen to records right there in the store. Right then and there, I went out and traded my electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustical guitar, a flat-top Gibson. ... (That album was) just something vital and personal. I learned all the songs on that record. It was her first and the songs were- 'Mule Skinner', 'Waterboy', 'Jack of Diamonds', ''Buked and Scorned."
Popular YouTube videos about Odetta

10 Signatures in Odetta's guestbook

  1. Robin Ernest Says:

    You will be missed.

  2. maria velasquez Says:

    I agree with Rpbin, yyou were one great singer!!!
    <:( <3 you Odetta!

  3. Leroy Says:

    google google

  4. Bob McKeown Says:

    Your work continues in us all who know of

  5. grim Says:

    sould have had a body guard with a 9mm to shot that disease

  6. Candie Says:

    Didn’t know the forum rules allowed such brilainlt posts.

  7. ttbhxo Says:

    IC8Tup vomrlvvtuxwa

  8. william harris Says:

    she is an inspiration to peopleof color and the world

  9. Slobone Winthrop Says:

    Don’t forget her snatch hair was over a foot long at one point. That sparked the braiding of the colored snatches parade in Seattle. She once got her braided snatch hair stuck in a car door and was dragged over two miles. Thank the lord she had that monkey spirit and suffered few injuries.

  10. deborah Says:

    blah god must love stupid people beacause i dont hahahaha

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