Written by Andie García Sheridan
19 years ago today, the world of music lost not only an incredible singer-songwriter, but also a humanitarian. Known for his peaceful and loving songs, John Denver devoted his life to both his music and to bettering the world around him. A true staple of the 70’s, Denver released his first solo album just previous to the onset of the decade in 1969. He introduced “Leaving On A Jetplane” to the world and gave a voice to the many that were sent away from their loved ones to Vietnam. At the peak of U.S. involvement in a war that was dividing the nation, he united the people and reminded all that despite the arguments over whether or not the US should be involved, the truly important thing to remember was the fact that men were leaving and potentially never coming back and never seeing their their loved ones again. His songs often spoke to his political views and related to his activism. He wrote “Calypso” as an homage to Jacques Cousteau’s exploration ship. His humanitarian efforts included supporting causes for the environmental movement, the homeless, the hungry, the poor, and the AIDs crisis in Africa. He even founded the Windstar Foundation in 1976. Denver’s extremely impactful political activism was mirrored by his successful musical career. Perhaps his most well known and sweetest songs is “Annie’s Song,” also known as “You Fill Up My Senses,” written for his wife Annie. The song reveals and reminds all of us of what it’s like to love and be loved through his simple, yet touching lyrics and soft acoustic guitar. Nearly 20 years ago, the world lost the voice and the mind of John Denver, however, his legacy remains in his music and reminds listeners of the good in the world. From his musical to his humanitarian efforts, John Denver left his impact and created positivity all around him.