‘Lean On Me,’ ‘Lovely Day’ Singer Bill Withers Dies at 81

03 Avril, 2020, 19:40 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA- FEBRUARY 24 Bill Withers speaks onstage at Reel To Reel Chuck Berry Brown Eyed Handsome Man at the GRAMMY Museum

Withers, real name William Harrison Withers Jr, was widely known for his hit "Lean on me me", as well as the songs "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lovely Day".

Other major hits of the singer include "Ain't No Sunshine, ' 'Just The Two Of Us" and 'Lovely Day'.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and his children, Todd and Kori.

His death caused a torrent of appreciation on social media, including from former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who said Withers' music has been a cherished part of her life.

His music has been sampled and covered by artists including BlackStreet on No Diggity, Will Smith's version of Just The Two Of Us, Black Eyed Peas Bridging The Gap and Twista's Sunshine.

Withers, who overcame a childhood stutter, was born the last of six children in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia.

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The smooth-voiced Withers withdrew from the music industry in the 1980s and only had a brief career but in that time, he won three Grammys and penned many songs that soundtracked key moments in people's lives, often providing the musical backdrop to engagements, weddings and parties.

He released his first album, "Just As I Am", in 1971 with the iconic Booker T. Jones producing. The song won the Grammy for R&B song of the year.

Born William Harrison Withers Jr in 1938, he faced a hard childhood in Slab Fork, West Virginia. "They looked at me and said, 'So, I owe you some money, so what?' I was socialised in the military". He claims to have erased an entire album that he had recorded for the label in a fit of pique.

After the latter failed to chart, Withers went into early retirement.

Withers released his final album, Watching You Watching Me, in 1985, before going into early retirement.

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