Singer Bill Withers Passes Away At Age 81
A musical legend passed away this weekend. Vanity Fair reported earlier today that the Grammy Award-winning singer, Bill Withers, who's perhaps best known for "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," and other hits from the 1970s, died at 81-years-old.
In a statement on Friday, his family confirmed the sad news with a tribute post. Paraphrasing what his family said in the statement, Bill was a "solitary man," who, through his art, sought to connect the people of the world.
According to the aforementioned outlet, many of Withers' classic songs have been played at prestigious events, including "Lean on Me," which was played at the presidential inaugurations of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Furthermore, a group of Dallas citizens sang the song from their balconies for support during quarantine measures which are currently ongoing. Withers first began his music career in earnest later in life, at the age of 33. At the time of his first recorded single, "Ain't No Sunshine," the singer-songwriter was working on an assembly line.
Some of his other big hits include "Lovely Day," "Use Me," and "Lean on Me." The last time Bill won a Grammy Award was back in 1982 for the track, "Just The Two Of Us." A few years later, however, "Lean on Me," and "Ain't No Sunshine," were inducted into the Grammy's Hall of Fame.
Moreover, his tracks have been included in several best-of-all-time lists, like Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Unfortunately, by the time the 1970s came to a close and the 1980s began, Withers slowly started to lose popularity.
The last album he released was Watching You Watching Me . In Bill's 2010 documentary, Still Bill , he lamented that being a famous performing artist was incredibly difficult. "The fame game was kicking my a**," the songwriter remarked.
Later, Bill elaborated on points he made, stating there was a time when music was more about the songs, rather than an image. The singer explained that it just wasn't "his time."