Bill Withers dies at 81.
Gulf Today Report
US singer-songwriter Bill Withers, whose hits included “Lean On Me”, “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”, has died aged 81.
The Grammy Award-winning artist, who released a number of soulful songs during the seventies that went on to become classics, died from heart complications.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father,” a statement issued by Withers’ family said.
“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.
"In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones."
Withers' was an influential voice that inspired an entire generation of soul, RnB, blues and funk singing with hits such as "Lovely day", "Ain't no sunshine", and "Lean on me" among numerous others.
The American music industry expressed grief at his demise. Tributes began pouring in to the late songwriter, whose death came amid stress over the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The Recording Academy dubbed Withers "remarkably impactful," as the Beach Boys songwriter Brian Wilson called him a "songwriter's songwriter" and John Legend tweeted that "life wouldn't be the same without him."
Among the first to convey condolences was rocker Lenny Kravitz. "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," he wrote.
"This hurts to hear," said Questlove, drummer for The Roots, on Instagram, hailing Withers as "one of the last celebrated blue collar musicians."
"He was our Springsteen...our Everyman."
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