Music Legend Bill Withers Dead at 81

Bill Withers, known for his 1970s hits such as “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has passed away at the age of 81.

Friday, the singer-songwriter’s family released a statement to the Associated Press saying Withers died on Monday in Los Angeles from heart complications.

“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,” the statement read.

It continued, “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.”

After Withers enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 17, he moved to Los Angeles in 1967 to pursue music.

Throughout his career, he won three Grammy Awards, and was nominated for four more.

In 2015, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by fellow soul artist Stevie Wonder.

"This is not about me. This is about a great man who has written some incredibly great songs," Wonder said of Withers in his introduction. "Not only did he write them, but sang them incredibly as well."

Years before, Withers was the subject of the 2009 documentary “Still Bill,” named after his 1972 sophomore album. The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori.


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