Unfortunately the mourning in the world of music does not stop, because today we learn that one of the most influential musicians in soul and R&B in the 70s and 80s left this world, Bill Withers, who died this April 3 at the age of 81 after suffering some cardiac complications that he had been carrying in recent years.
According to media like The Guardian, The news of the singer’s death was announced by Withers’ own family through a statement in which they regretted the departure of this music legend, however they hoped that with their songs and in moments so dark that the world is living, all those who are fighting the coronavirus can find calm and hope in their songs:
“We are devastated by the loss of our loving and devoted husband and father. A lonely man with a heart driven to connect with the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other. His songs belong to the world forever. In these difficult times, we pray that his music will offer comfort and entertainment as fans cling to their loved ones. ”
And to all this, who was Bill Withers?
Maybe his name doesn’t ring a bell, but Bill is one of the most influential figures in music. Withers was born into a humble family in West Virginia on July 4, 1938, and at an early age he enlisted in the Navy where it lasted almost a decade, and it was there that he became interested in music and composing his own songs. By 1965 he would leave everything to go live in Los Angeles, with the firm intention of starting his musical careerBut fame would take a long time to arrive, although that would be an advantage for him.
After chipping stone everywhere and with keyboardist Booker T. Jones, In 1971 Bill Withers released his first album Just As I Am and the single –and perhaps the most important of his entire career–, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, a heartbreak song considered to be one of the greatest heartbreak songs of all time with which he managed to consecrate himself and make a name within the complicated musical scene of the city of dreams.
The singer It was characterized by having a silky voice that caught you from the first moment you listened to it, influenced by soul, funk and many more genres. After releasing “Ain’t No Sunshine”, Bill kept reaping hits thanks to songs like “Lean On Me” –Which was used by Barack Obama Y Bill clinton in the opening ceremonies of their respective presidencies–, “Lovely Day”, “Use Me” and more. Throughout his career lHe managed to win the Grammy Award three times, calling it a true legend.
Although everything was wonderful, Bill Withers was not having such a good time. As we said before, fame came to him at 33, so he never got on the contrary, on the contrary, was aware of many things going on around him that frustrated his career. That is why for 1985 and at the age of 47 he announced to the world that he was retiring from music for different reasons, such as his distrust of the record industry after waging a legal battle against the Sussex label.
Since then he left public life with his wife and the singer knew how to take advantage of the royalties he obtained from his famous albums and songs, since practically they lived the last years of their lives. Some artists like Lenny Kravitz, Lin-Manuel Mirandathe rapper Chance The Rapper and the guitarist from Chic, Nile Rodgers They have already come out to talk about Bill’s influence, his legacy and the enormous gap he leaves within music:
Rest in power Bill Withers. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength. My soul always has & always will be full of your music. Your humility displayed & depth of your power as you carried us all to a better place. You’re still & always will be Bill. pic.twitter.com/mkpcSBfuZv
– Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) April 3, 2020
Rest In Peace, teacher Bill Withers.
What a legacy.https: //t.co/GBImqLRdPh
– Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) April 3, 2020
Aw man, Bill Withers was really the greatest. Grandma’s Hands, Ain’t No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Use Me Up, Just The Two Of Us and obviously Lovely Day are some of the best songs of all time. My heart really hurts for him, it reminds me of playing records with at my grandma’s house
– Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 3, 2020
#RIPBillWithers Class, class and more class. https://t.co/nmdufDEpFP
– Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) April 3, 2020