LISTEN: Godspeed, Bill Withers
Family announces the passing of the soul legend, who died on March 30 at age 81
It’s so hard to believe that this horrible week refuses to let up, as we regret to announce the passing of soul giant Bill Withers, who died of heart complications on March 30th at the age of 81.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father,” wrote the Withers family in a public statement. “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.”
He stopped making records 35 years ago with his underrated 1985 studio swan song Watching Me Watching You. But within the span of 14 years created some of the funkiest, folkiest, most soulful music in American Pop across eight magnificent albums, spawning such hits along the way as He recorded several major hits, including “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1971), “Grandma’s Hands” (1971), “Use Me” (1972), “Lean on Me” (1972), “Lovely Day” (1977), and “Just the Two of Us” (1980).
In a time when we as a global society are experiencing a level of collective stress and heartache not seen in 102 years, we need Bill’s medicine soul now more than ever. His vessel may have gone back to the Lord, but his music renders his soul immortal.
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