The Grammy Award-winning soul artist Bill Withers has died at 81-years-old.
Withers, who rose to fame in the ’70s with smash-hit songs like “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” and “‘Ain’t No Sunshine,” reportedly died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to the Associated Press. He died in Los Angeles at 81-years-old.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father,” a statement from the family read. “A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other. As private a life he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”
During the worldwide ongoing coronavirus pandemic, fans across the world have been posting their own renditions of “Lean On Me” to get through this trying time.
Although his career was short, Withers garnered massive attention. He first released Just as I Am in 1971, followed by Still Bill, +’Justments, Making Music, and Naked & Warm. His 1977 record Menagerie went Gold for “Lovely Day” – the first since 1972’s Still Bill. That record was followed by ‘Bout Love and his last record, 1985’s Watching You Watching Me. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by Stevie Wonder and received nine Grammy nominations, winning three for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Just the Two Of Us,” and “Lean On Me.”
Artists took to social media this morning to pay their respects.
Rest in power Bill Withers. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength. My soul always has & always will be full of your music. Your humility displayed & depth of your power as you carried us all to a better place. You’re still & always will be Bill. pic.twitter.com/mkpcSBfuZv
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) April 3, 2020
One of the greatest vocalists and songwriters ever. Love u Mr Withers https://t.co/wzbxsNCRHc
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) April 3, 2020
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) April 3, 2020
Aw man, Bill Withers was really the greatest. Grandma’s Hands, Ain’t No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Use Me Up, Just The Two Of Us and obviously Lovely Day are some of the best songs of all time. My heart really hurts for him, it reminds me of playing records with at my grandma’s house
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 3, 2020
RIP Bill Withers 💔
— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) April 3, 2020
Rest in peace, Bill Withers.