Bill Withers, an American singer renowned for his hit song ‘Lean on Me’, has passed on at 81 after suffering from an undisclosed heart condition.
The R&B singer-songwriter’s family told the Associated Press that he died on Monday.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. He was a solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music,” the family said in a statement on Friday.
“He spoke 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 born on July 4, 1938, in the mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. He performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985 before retiring from the limelight.
The three-time Grammy winner was renowned for a slew of his songs including ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, ‘Lovely Day’, ‘Use Me’, ‘Just the Two of Us’.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, with his songs severally sampled for other artists’ hits.
He is survived by Marcia Johnson, his wife, and Todd and Kori, their two children.
Watch ‘Lean on Me’ below:
Watch ‘Ain’t no Sunshine’ below:
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