Bill Withers, African-American singer who wrote and sang some very powerful soulful songs in the 1970s that are still very much in trend till date, like “ Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has sadly died at 81, from heart complications, his family said in a statement.
Bill Withers who won Grammy Award three times, and then decided to quit making music in the mid-1980s, died on Monday in Los Angeles, the statement said.
His death follows as the public uses his music as a source of inspiration during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own version of “Lean on Me” to help friends and families in distress pull through the difficult times.
“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 statement from the family read.
Bill Withers had a brief but impactful career in music as his songs are used as soundtracks of countless, movies, engagements, weddings and romantic get-togethers. You’ll make no mistake when you say his songs have powerful melodies and perfect grooves melded with a smooth voice that conveys honesty and complex emotions.
“Lean on Me,” a paean to friendship, was performed at the inaugurations of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me” are among the most recognised work of Bill Wither.
“He’s the last African-American Everyman,” musician and bandleader Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.”