Famed singer Bill Withers, known for hits like “Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Just the Two of Us,” and “Lovely Day,” has passed away at the age of 81. His family confirmed the news with the Associated Press, revealing that Withers died of heart complications.
The family released a statement:
“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.”
Withers was a three-time Grammy winner, with his first coming in 1971 when “Ain’t No Sunshine” won for Best Rhythm & Blues Song. In 1981, Withers won in the same category for “Just the Two of Us,” and again in 1987 when Club Nouveau re-recorded “Lean on Me.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by Stevie Wonder. The same year, Withers told Rolling Stone, “I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.”
Withers was survived by his wife Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori.