News is just breaking today, but legendary musician Bill Withers; one of the greatest songwriters of the 70's passed away on March 30th at the age of 81 from heart complications.
The three time Grammy winner and 2015 inductee of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame served nine years in the United States Navy before heading to Los Angeles in 1967 to seriously pursue music. In 1971 Withers released "Ain't No Sunshine" which peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 and won a Grammy for best R&B song.
If you're around my age and have an understanding of music before your days it's likely because of family. I can thank my parents, aunts and grandma for exposure to the classics at a young age. I learned that "Just the Two of Us" by Will Smith was not exactly "his song" as a tadpole.
Bill Withers may not have 20 household hits, but he was like the Adam Dunn of his day. When he really made contact the dude knocked out of the park. Four top 3 hits on the Hot 100; 3 in a two year span. 13 songs made the top 20 on the R & B charts.
When Withers retired in 1985 due to frustration with the recording industry his catalog included other classics such as "Lean on Me", "Use Me" (my personal favorite), and "Lovely Day". As previously mentioned; Withers won three Grammys; 1971 Best R&B Song (Ain't No Sunshine), 1981 Best R&B Song (Just the Two of Us) and 1987 Best R&B Song (Lean on me; covered by Club Nouveau)
This statement was released by his family (AP)
“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,” the family statement read. “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.”
It's pretty wild how right before Wither's death "Lean on Me" was becoming a sort of unofficial-anthem of the COVID-19 crisis. (gotta be the first time I've attached a Fox News clip)
If I was a gambling man (I am!) I'd say you're going to see/hear A LOT of videos of streets singing Lean on Me today.
Just a real bummer to wake up to. You hope it was painless and he was around family.
P.S. We all grieve in our own ways. R.I.P.
We've all got nothing but time right now. If you need to kill a half hour there are worse ways. I watched this like a month ago.