October 26, 2021

Little Feat Co-Founder, Richie Hayward, Dead at 64

Richie Hayward of Little Feat

Richie Hayward of Little Feat

One of the co-founders of the American eclectic band Little Feat, Richie Hayward, passed away on Thursday. He had been suffering from liver cancer and was under treatment in a hospital in Vancover, Canada. The cause of death, announced by his publicist, Bridget Nolan, was complications from a bout of pneumonia.

Hayward was the drummer for Little Feat, a band that enjoyed a cult like following in the 1970s. However times had changed for Hayward as his health declined.  He was waiting for a liver transplant when he died. As he had no health insurance, benefits had been organized on Hayward’s behalf to help meet expenses for his medical treatments.

Following his last performance with the band on July 11 this year, Hayward seemed positive in a letter that he wrote to fans. He wrote, “My intent is to come back to the band, as soon as I am physically able. Your love and support will mean a lot to me, more than I can say. I love and will miss you all, and I will see you again on the proud highway.”

Little Feat had undergone a number of changes over the years. The band was formed in 1969 by Hayward  along with Lowell George, Bill Payne and Roy Estrada. Famous for their song “Willin”, the band was popular on the jamband circuit, proficient  in a variety of genres including rock, country, jazz and blues.

In addition to his involvement with the band, Hayward had performed with other megastars like Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Buddy Guy and Barbra Streisand.

Survived by his wife, Shauna Drayson-Heyward, and eight children, Hayward was planning to return to the band upon his recovery. Hayward was 64.