[37] He wrote some of the most covered songs of the 1970s, including "Lean on Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine". Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Bill Withers died on March 30, 2020, aged 81, in Los Angeles, California. Picture: SuppliedSource:AP. [38] With "Lovely Day", he set the record for the longest sustained note on a chart hit on American charts, holding a high E for 18 seconds. [18], After Sussex Records folded, Withers signed with Columbia Records in 1975. Lean On Me, a paean to friendship, was performed at the inaugurations of former US presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Death: April 03, 2020 (81) Immediate Family: Son of William Harrison Withers, Sr. and Mattie Rose Withers. 2. Kori. Your humility displayed & depth of your power as you carried us all to a better place. Warm, raunchy, secular, Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), "Still Bill (2009) A Singer Who Stopped His Showing Off", "Green Day, Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Ringo Starr Lead 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame", "Bill Withers, Who Sang 'Lean on Me' and 'Ain't No Sunshine,' Dies at 81", "Bill Withers: Still Himself, but He'll Allow the Attention", "Bill Withers: The Soul Man Who Walked Away", "The Lost Bill Withers Go-Go Soul Freakout You Need To Hear", "Bill Withers, 'Lean On Me' Attitude Back The 47-year-old Singer, Whose Style And Delivery Fall Somewhere Between Lou Rawls And Marvin Gaye, Has Released A New Album And Embarked On A Concert Tour", "Michel Berger - Dreams In Stone (Vinyl, LP, Album)", "Songwriter Bill Withers And A Career Cut Short", "10 Things We Learned Spending Two Days With Bill Withers", "Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder charm during their 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame speeches", "A Tribute to Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall", "Review: A Bill Withers Tribute With His Soul Disciples", "Bill Withers talks the Grammys and politics", "Bill Withers, 'Lean On Me' and 'Lovely Day' Singer, Dies at 81", "Bill Withers, influential soul singer behind Ain't No Sunshine, dies aged 81", "Bill Withers: the brilliant folk-soul star who said it all with time to spare", "Bill Withers, Hall of Fame Soul Singer, Dead at 81", "D'Angelo Cancels Performance at Bill Withers Tribute Show", "Justin Timberlake Pays Tribute to Bill Withers: 'One of My Biggest Idols, "John Legend on Singing with Bill Withers at Rock Hall: 'Don't F–k It Up, "Room 222 star refuses to charge singing artist in alleged beating", "Divorce Action Splits Singer Bill Withers, Actress Denise Nicholas", "Lean On Me singer Bill Withers dies at 81", "Bill Withers, 'Lean On Me,' 'Ain't No Sunshine' singer, dies at 81", "Bill Withers Died of Cardiopulmonary Arrest, Underlying Heart and Lung Issues", "Little Jimmy Dickens Joins West Virginia Music Hall of Fame", "Lou Reed, Green Day and Bill Withers to Join Rock Hall of Fame", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bill_Withers&oldid=997678200, Burials at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Articles to be expanded from November 2020, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 2007: Inducted into West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 18:29. IVOR NOVELLO AWARDS. Bill Withers, the soulful singer known for his 70s hits Lean on Me, Ain't No Sunshine and Lovely Day, has died at the age of 81. Bill Withers RIP. Bill Withers Dead. After successful training, he served in the Navy for nine good years. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength. Withers, the youngest of six children, was born in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, on July 4, 1938. A family statement announcing his death said: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. "[6] The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson deemed him "a songwriter's songwriter". Family: Parents: Father: William Harrison Withers Sr. Rest in power Bill Withers. He was gracious enough to let me sample him on ‘demons’. Acoustic guitar in his hands, singing almost conversationally but with enormous power, Withers‘ approach was more in a singer-songwriter mode, though his sound was supremely funky and thoroughly contemporary. He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori. [15], During this time, he wrote and produced two songs on the Gladys Knight & the Pips album I Feel a Song, and in October 1974 performed in concert together with James Brown, Etta James, and B.B. Other footage of his performance is included in the 2008 documentary film Soul Power. The name Withers comes from the Old Norse personal name Vidarr, which means, wide messenger. Bill Withers Death. Bill Withers, the celebrated artist whose hits include "Lean on Me" and "Lovely Day," has died of heart complications. Withers was in attendance and spoke briefly onstage. “In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones,” his family said. "[38] In the same magazine, writer Gail Mitchell acknowledged "Withers' legacy has flourished in the decades since, thanks to a cross-section of artists who have covered/sampled his songs or cited him as a major influence. Her son named “Todd Withers” is also a singer and songwriter. Few singers have possessed a baritone as rich and comforting as that of Bill Withers. [36], Withers largely retired from his career in music in 1985. He was the youngest of six children of Mattie (Galloway), a maid, and William Withers, a miner. But radio DJs flipped the disc and the song climbed to number 3 on the Billboard charts and spent a total of 16 weeks in the top 40. [6] Marcia eventually assumed the direct management of his Beverly Hills–based publishing companies, in which his children also became involved as they became adults. Bill Withers – Lean On Me … After his parents divorced when he was 3, Withers was raised by his mother’s family in nearby Beckley. Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams wrote: "One day I … pic.twitter.com/mkpcSBfuZv, Today we lost one of the sweetest souls. Discover the enduring artistry of Albums & Compilations of Bill Withers, an authentic American musical icon. Bill Withers, known for acoustic soul hits “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” died Monday of heart complications, his family said Friday. Withers, who overcame a childhood stutter, was born the last of six children in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. Mother: Mattie Rose Withers. [34][35], In February 2017, he made an appearance on Joy Reid's MSNBC show to talk about the refugee crisis as well as the political climate in America. [19], Due to problems with Columbia and being unable to get songs approved for his album, he concentrated on joint projects from 1977 to 1985, including "Just the Two of Us", with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., which was released during June 1980. The three-time Grammy Award winner died from heart complications in Los Angeles on Monday. [37] Editors from The Guardian considered that Withers' songs are "some of the most beloved in the American songbook," citing, "'Ain't No Sunshine' is regarded as one of the all-time great breakup tracks, while 'Lean on Me', an ode to the supportive power of friendship ..."[39] For the same newspaper, Alex Petridis noticed "[he] laid pain and paranoia under his deceptively gentle songs, and retired early having conquered gospel, funk, blues, disco and more. Bill Withers (born July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia, died March 30, 2020 in Los Angeles, California) was an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s. Johnson Is In Charge of Licensing Her Husband’s Music. The track had already sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA in September 1971. [1] Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. [3] He was born with a stutter and later said he had a hard time fitting in. When he returned with the song "Ain't No Sunshine" in 1971, he refused to resign from his job because he believed the music business was a fickle industry. He was the youngest lad of six siblings. On 4 July 1938, William Withers Jr. was born in Slab Fork, the United States in West Virginia. Withers married actress Denise Nicholas in 1973 during her stint on the sitcom Room 222. It had the hits Grandma’s Hands and Ain’t No Sunshine, which was inspired by the Jack Lemmon film Days of Wine and Roses. 2. He was 81 years old. This record included one composition co-written and sung by Withers,[23] an upbeat disco song about New York City entitled "Apple Pie". Bill Withers, pictured, died in Los Angeles from heart complications, his family said. His family described him in a statement as a “solitary man with a heart-driven to connect to the world”. Withers was also previously married to actress Denise Nicholas before they divorced and he proceeded to marry Marcia. Stream Bill Withers' best songs via Spotify or Apple Music. [6][9], In 1988, a new version of "Lovely Day" from the 1977 Menagerie album, entitled "Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix)" and remixed by Ben Liebrand was released. Ain’t No Sunshine was originally released as the B-side of his debut single, Harlem. He was born with a stutter and later said he had a hard time fitting in. [4][5] He was the son of Mattie (Galloway), a maid, and William Withers, a miner. Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to the Associated Press. It read: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. [10], Withers worked as an assembler for several different companies, including Douglas Aircraft Corporation, IBM and Ford,[11] while recording demo tapes with his own money, shopping them around and performing in clubs at night. honorary doctorate. Withers’ 70s hits Ain’t No Sunshine and Lean on Me have been hailed as some of the greatest songs of all time, and his iconic tunes are often used on the big screen, including in The Hangover, American Beauty, Jerry Maguire and The Secret Life of Pets. He was the son of Mattie (Galloway), a maid, and William Withers, a miner. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Bill Withers was born on July 4, 1938 in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia and was raised in the nearby town of Beckley. Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for six more. Withers sang for a black nouveau middle class that didn't yet understand how precarious its status was. Just as I Am was released in 1971 with the tracks, "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Grandma's Hands" as singles. His new executives found Withers difficult. hall of fame. Withers’ family confirmed his death in the following statement: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. hall of fame. More Coverage After his parents divorced when he was three, Withers was … PRS for Music Special International Award. [7] He was 13 years old when his father died. 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. [48][49] They divorced in 1974. Bill Withers, former soul singer behind hits Ain’t No Sunshine and Lean On Me died on March 30, 2020, from heart complications aged 81. My soul always has & always will be full of your music. for many years. By Mort Garson bill withers family the Grammy Awards are bestowed by the RIAA in September 1971,. 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