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Soul Icon Bill Withers Dies Aged 81

Friday, 03 April 2020 Written by Laura Johnson

Bill Withers has died aged 81.

The Grammy Award-winning soul and R&B icon passed away from heart complications on March 30 in Los Angeles. The news was confirmed in a statement from his family:

"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. 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. We know his legacy will live in our hearts and in yours for generations to come. 

"We will miss his sharp wit, playful sense of humor, and no-nonsense way of turning a phrase as no one else could. He was a deeply proud man, full of integrity and principle, and we as his family are immensely proud of him for sharing his musical & lyrical gifts so elegantly and generously with the world. A master of writing love songs, he loved music, cherished and protected his family, and our love for him is immeasurable.

With Love,

The Withers Family"

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee was responsible for the timeless hits Lean On Me, Ain't No Sunshine, Lovely Day and Just The Two Of Us, to name a few. His songs have also been sampled by many, one of the most well known being No Diggity by BLACKStreet.

Withers was born on July 4, 1938 in West Virginia. The singer-songwriter started his musical career following a nine-year stint in the United States Navy. He moved to Los Angeles in 1967, was signed by the early '70s and went on to release multiple albums throughout the decade and into the '80s.

Since the news of his death, tributes have poured in from across the music world, with Chance The Rapper, John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, and Brian Wilson among the many remarking on his talent via social media.

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