Bill Withers, ‘Lean on Me’ and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ Singer Has Died

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Bill Withers wrote and sang so many iconic tunes in the 1970s that are still well known today. “Lean on Me” was one of my absolute favorite songs as a kid.


He passed away due to heart complications on Monday, according to his family in a statement given to The Associated Press. He was 81 years old.

“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 family statement read. “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.”

Associated Press

Bill Withers was a three-time Grammy Award winner. He taught himself to play the guitar before going on to create some of the most iconic songs such as “Lean on Me”, “Use Me”, “Lovely Day”, and “A’int No Sunshine”.

His first album, “Just As I Am”, was released in 1971. It contained the song “A’int No Sunshine”, which quickly cracked the Billboard Top 10.

In an interview with The Rolling Stone in 2015, he said,

“I wouldn’t know a pop chart from a Pop-Tart”

He was then inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

William Harrison Withers Jr. was born on July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, W.Va. He joined the Navy at the age of 17, where he served for 9 years. He quit the Navy in 1965 while stationed in California.

Bill Withers – Facebook

He bought a guitar at a pawn shop and taught himself how to play. After writing some original songs, he made a demo tape and was picked up by Clarence Avent.

“Bill came right from the factory and showed up in his old brogans and his old clunk of a car with a notebook full of songs.When he saw everyone in the studio, he asked to speak to me privately and said, ‘Booker, who is going to sing these songs?’ I said, ‘You are, Bill.’ He was expecting some other vocalist to show up.”

– Booker T. Jones (Keybordist)
Bill Withers – Facebook

We will be forever grateful for the soulful, inspiring tunes that he gave to the world. And in a time where we need to lean on each other, the “Lean on Me” singer and songwriter will be in our hearts.


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  1. Why did you repost this story to Facebook today?