The widely-acclaimed 1970s soul singer, Bill Withers, has died from heart complications at the age of 81.
According to reports from his family, the star behind hits ‘Ain’t No Sunshine and Lean On Me’ was reportedly pronounced dead on Monday in Los Angeles.
His family described Bill Withers as a ‘solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world.’
Bill Withers is widely recognized for his amazing soul arrangements and smooth baritone vocals. The iconic singer wrote some of the most recognized songs in the 70s, such as ‘Lovely Day,’ ‘Use Me,’ and ‘Just The Two Of Us.’
His hit track ‘On Lovely Day,’ broke a record for the longest sustained note on a US chart hit. It held a high E for over eighteen seconds.
Even though Bill Withers stopped recording in 1985, his songs remain a major influence on the hip hop and R&B scenes.
His hit song ‘Just The Two Of Us’ got reinterpreted by Eminem on his 1997’s track ‘Bonnie And Cylde.’
His track ‘Lean On Me’ has been listened to by many during this coronavirus pandemic. To support health workers, several people have posted their own versions.
In a statement, Bill Withers’s family spoke about the legendary singer:
We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. 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.
Popular American musician, Chance the Rapper, described the singer as “the greatest’ and recalled some of their personal memories.”
Other celebrities including John Legend, Brian Wilson, Lenny Kravitz, and Trevor Nelson, wrote tributes to the late singer.
Bill Withers was born in 1938 and he was the youngest of six children. He was raised by his mother and grandmother. Bill Withers started his musical career at the age of twenty-nine.
In 1970, Bill recorded his first album titled ‘Just As I Am,’ with Booker T Jones. His Grammy-award-winning ballad ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ featured on his first album.
His 1972’s hit ‘Lean On Me’ also became a million-selling hit. It was performed at the inaugurations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Bill Withers is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Kori and Todd.