Bill Withers, best known for writing and performing his hit singles such as “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Lean On Me” and “Lovely Day” has sadly passed away on Monday 30th March in Los Angeles. The Withers family confirmed the sad news in a statement to the Associated Press stating the singer had passed away after suffering heart complications.
The statement also read, “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. 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 as 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.”
The American musician retired from his professional music career in 1980 after becoming one of the best-known musicians of the decade. He won three Grammy Awards and was honoured with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
William, Bill for short, Harrison Withers Jr. was born in Slab Fork, a cole-mining town in West Virginia. Bill had a stutter during his childhood and was reported to have struggled to fit in. He managed to overcome his stutter after he enlisted with the US Navy at 18 years old and served for 9 years.
“Ain’t No Sunshine” was released in 1971 and reached number 3 in the US charts. His most successful release was “Lean On Me” in 1972, reaching number 1 in the US and number 18 in the UK. “Just the Two of Us” (with Grover Washington Jr.) was released in 1981 and reached number 2 in the US charts.
Another incredible performer and songwriting talent leaves this earth, but at least we still have his wonderful work.
Photo Credit: By Columbia Records – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22536445