“Lean on Me” singer Bill Withers dies at 81

Bill Withers dies of heart complications. Net.

Renowned singer and songwriter Bill Withers, famous for songs such as "Lean on Me’", "Lovely Day’" and "Ain’t no sunshine", among others, died of heart complications on March 30 in Los Angeles, according to a statement from his family.

 

“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,”

 

“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 that his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones,” The family’s statement reads.

 

The three-time Grammy Award winner began his music career in 1970, signing with Sussex Records and putting out his first album “Just As I AM” which had hits like  "Grandma's Hands" and "Ain´t No Sunshine", which was inspired by the Jack Lemmon film "Days of Wine and Roses.'

During his brief career, quitting the music industry 15 years after his debut album, his songs have become the soundtracks of countless engagements, weddings and parties. They have powerful melodies and perfect grooves melded with a smooth voice that conveys honesty and complex emotions without vocal extravaganza.

"Mourning the loss of my friend and inspiration, Bill Withers.  He was such an incredible songwriter and storyteller.  I'm so glad he shared his gift with the world.  Life wouldn't be the same without him,” tweeted singer John Legend.
He not only leaves behind Marcia Johnson, his wife and their two children as his core family but also an extended family of his fans who took his music as a nourishment for their souls, paid their tributes through social media.

“I listened to this song maybe a billion times when I was a kid. Had it on cassette. Thank you, Bill Withers. RIP,” Samira Ahmed’ twitter post with a clip video of “lean on me” reads.

Withers was the youngest of six children in their family and he was born with a stutter which gave him a hard time fitting into society.

Apart from his music career, the famous singer enlisted with the US Navy where he served for nine years and overcame his stutter before he began his singing career. He has also worked as an assembler for several companies among them, Douglas Aircraft Corporation.

A small excerpt of lyrics of one of his most loved songs “Lean on Me.”

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain

We all have sorrow

But if we are wise

We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you're not strong

And I'll be your friend

I'll help you carry on

For it won't be long

'Til I'm gonna need

Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride

If I have things you need to borrow

For no one can fill those of your needs

That you won't let show

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand

We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you'll understand

We all need somebody to lean on.” 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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