Bill Withers has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement. He was 81.
A three-time Grammy winner, he passed away on Monday (March 30) in Los Angeles.
“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.”
Withers’ 1970s songs including Lean On Me, Lovely Day and Ain’t No Sunshine became soulful staples.
Lean On Me charted at No.18 in 1972. Lovely Day made No.7 in 1978.
The US singer withdrew from the industry in the mid-’80s, though his music remained popular and Sony released multiple collections.
A host of top names have taken to social media to pay respect to Withers, you can read a round up below
The great Bill withers has left this earth. A truly sad day for all music fans. Just stay at home listen to his music which is a remedy for these nonsensical times we live in. He was a genius singer songwriter. Can’t listen to Bill without feeling emotional #RipBillWithers— Trevor Nelson (@DJTrevorNelson) April 3, 2020
Bill Withers. ????— Moses Sumney (@MosesSumney) April 3, 2020
Rest in power Bill Withers. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength. My soul always has & always will be full of your music. Your humility displayed & depth of your power as you carried us all to a better place. You're still & always will be Bill. pic.twitter.com/mkpcSBfuZv— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) April 3, 2020
The silencing of a sublime voice. RIP Bill Withers. Aint no sunshine.— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) April 3, 2020
RIP Bill Withers ????— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) April 3, 2020
2020 U officially suck. Ain't no Sunshine today. Love U Bill Withers, thank U for your kindness and for your amazing songs.— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) April 3, 2020
I was so lucky to meet him at this award ceremony. I mean, what a songwriter - lean on me, ain’t no sunshine, lovely day, just the two of us... I mean, wow. I recorded a version of “use me” with Kori, his daughter, a couple of years ago. She shares his humility and talent. R.I.P. https://t.co/K8jV2JzXLx— Nitin Sawhney (@thenitinsawhney) April 3, 2020
Very Sad.. this clip of Bill and hos amazing band was a huge favourite for the Coxonaughts on the road. RIP???? Withers - Ain't No Sunshine https://t.co/ELpQ2j1dE6— graham coxon (@grahamcoxon) April 3, 2020
I was there and it was emotional. He certainly did light up the room. In the same way his talent lit up so many people’s lives. Wonderful, wonderful talent. RIP Bill Withers. https://t.co/2kNF0JmUqW— Michael Dugher (@MichaelDugher) April 3, 2020
A true great, our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Bill Withers at this difficult time. https://t.co/YxczTfJ2BW— bpi music (@bpi_music) April 3, 2020
Ain’t no sunshine today, this week, or this year x pic.twitter.com/90CRQgZl3K— Megan Page (@Megwam) April 3, 2020
Sometimes you can tell how good an artist is by the amount of times that they're sampled. And Bill Withers music was sampled SO SO SO many times.— Ali (@alistairtant) April 3, 2020