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David Olney Dies While Performing On Stage, He Was 71

“We all lost someone important last night.”

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On Saturday, American singer-songwriter David Olney died of a heart attack while performing on stage in Florida. He was 71.

He stopped singing and paused for a bit and then he said, “I’m sorry” and “put his chin to his chest,” according to fellow singer-songwriter Scott Miller who was performing along with Olney at 30A Festival in Santa Rosa Beach.

Miller wrote on Facebook, “He never dropped his guitar or fell (off) his stool. It was as easy and gentle as he was.”

Amy Rigby, who also was performing with Olney on, also wrote took to Facebook to pay her respects.

Rigby said, “He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket … 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. We all lost someone important last night.

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According to his official website, Olney, whose music was recorded by Steve Young, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and others, produced over 20 solo albums. Others who covered his music were Slaid Cleaves, Del McCoury, and The Wailin’ Jennys.

Olney’s second album included the song “Deeper Well,” which Harris covered in her 1995 album Wrecking Ball.

Russell Carter, the producer of 30A Festival, said on Facebook, “David was loved and highly respected by all who knew him including his fellow musicians and his multitude of fans.” According to the statement, Olney is survived by his wife, two children, and “a devastated music community.”

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