“Lean On Me” singer Bill Withers dies aged 81

Soul singer Bill Withers has died. He was aged 81.

Withers had a string of enduring hits in the 70s – in particular “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Lean On Me” and “Lovely Day”.

Withers started writing and singing during nine years’ service in the US Navy.

His honeyed baritone voice was a key ingredient to his soulful songs.

The family statement said:

“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 his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”

Withers once said: “I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with.

“I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.”



About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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