“So sad to hear that the big man with the big heart has gone.
For anyone that worked with him, he was family.
When he turned the tap on, music poured out of him, as it did in Woodstock.
Everything about Richie was large, warm and passionate, his gentle eyes, that magical gravelly voice, the bold intense performances, and in his second life, in his commitment to all the kids he worked with.
I’m sure he had his darker moments – a voice that ‘ lived in ‘ doesn’t come without pain, but what he gave to us was always about hope, about what he could give and never about him.
I feel very lucky to have known and worked with him.”