She had hoped to perform again in Washington next month when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the nation's first black president. But the acclaimed folk singer, who influenced generations of musicians and was an icon in the civil rights struggle, died Tuesday after battling heart disease. She was 77.
In spite of failing health, Odetta performed 60 concerts in the last two years, and her singing ability never diminished, manager Doug Yeager said.
"The power would just come out of her like people wouldn't believe," he said.
Here's my favorite song of Odetta's: