Mary Travers, part of the iconic folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died on Wednesday at the age of 72 after a long battle with leukemia. Peter, Paul and Mary bandmates Peter Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey say the golden-voiced singer was always “honest and completely authentic.”
“I am deadened and heartsick beyond words to consider a life without Mary Travers and honored beyond my wildest dreams to have shared her spirit and her career,” Stookey said in a press statement on Mary Travers death.
Mary Travers died Wednesday night at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut after losing the battle against cancer, according to her spokeswoman, Heather Lylis. Travers was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 and eventually was unable to continue performing due to her ongoing illness.
Bandmate Peter Yarrow said Travers was always “honest and completely authentic. That’s the way she sang, too; honestly and with complete authenticity.”
Travers’ iconic voice launched Peter, Paul and Mary into fame in the 1960s with protest anthems like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “If I Had a Hammer,” as well as the enduring classic “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” Over the years, the folk band produced a number of hit albums and garnered a huge fan base across the world. The trio broke up briefly in the 70’s to pursue solo careers, but resumed playing together in 1978. Peter, Paul and Mary was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
In a message posted on her website, family and friends of Mary Travers posted a message saying: “Mary Travers fought cancer and its consequent illnesses with an inspiring strength and determination, maintaining a positive outlook and uncomplaining spirit throughout. Mary’s life and legacy remain a great American treasure. She was a passionate singer of songs, songs that have enlightened us and moved us to action as citizens of America and the world.”