David Olney, a longtime singer-songwriter, died during a performance on Saturday at 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, according to reports.
Amy Rigby, who performed alongside him at the Songwriters Festival, said that she “was sitting next to him in the round, had been so honored and looking forward to getting to trade songs with him and Scott Miller.”
“Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologized and shut his eyes. He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket,” she wrote on social media.
Elaborating further, Rigby said that his on-stage pause “at first looked like he was just taking a moment” but “Scott Miller had the presence of mind to say we needed to revive him.”
“Doctors in the audience and 30A folks were all working so hard to get him to come to. It’s hard to post about this because I can’t really believe he’s gone. I am so sorry for his wife and family and friends and all the people who loved him and his music. Even those who never heard of him. We all lost someone important last night,” she added.
Scott Miller described the scene on Facebook: “David was playing a song when he paused, said ‘I’m sorry’ and put his chin to his chest. He never dropped his guitar or fell of his stool. It was as easy and gentle as he was. We got him down and tried our best to revive him until the EMTs arrived. The world lost a good one last night. But we still have his work. And it still inspires. And always will. RIP.”
His death was confirmed by his manager to The Tennesseean newspaper. He was 71 years old.
Olney released about two dozen solo albums, with his latest, “This Side Or The Other,” being released in 2018.
According to Billboard.com, Olney is survived by his wife, Regine, daughter, Lillian, and son, Redding.
Details about his cause of death are not clear.