Monday, 01 June, 2020


Bill Withers has died aged 81

Bill Withers Bill Withers, influential soul singer behind Ain't No Sunshine, dies aged 81
Hannah Rogers | 03 April, 2020, 22:39

Bill Withers, the 1970s singer of classics like "Lean On Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine", has died, his family said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Later would come the striking " Lovely Day", co-written with Skip Scarborough and featuring Withers holding the word "day" for nearly 19 seconds, and "Just the Two Of Us", co-written with Ralph MacDonald and William Salter.

Withers joined the Navy at 17 and spent nine years as an aircraft mechanic installing toilets, the AP reports.

When he was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2007, Withers explained that his West Virginia upbringing was instrumental in creating "Lean on Me", a song he would later perform at the presidential inaugurations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

His track Grandma's Hands was sampled on Blackstreet's No Diggity, and Eminem reinterpreted Just The Two Of Us on his hit 1997 Bonnie And Clyde. Bill Withers in 1971.

Born on July 4, 1938, as the last of six children in a tiny West Virginia coal-mining town, Withers overcame a childhood stutter on his way to stardom.

His time with Sussex Records didn't end well. The tune won him his second best R&B song Grammy in 1981. "They weren't paying me", he told Rolling Stone in 2015.

"Ain't No Sunshine" was a hit and in 1972 Withers took home a Grammy for the single. Withers was just three years into his recording career when he headed to London with his band to record the live session.

After the latter failed to chart, Withers went into early retirement. "Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, film critic Roger Ebert said: "[Withers] still lives and survives as a happy man.

Withers released his final album, Watching You Watching Me, in 1985, before going into early retirement.

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