In a 2014 interview, Bill Withers told Rolling Stone “I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.” After being inducted to the Hall of Fame for classics such as “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me,” Withers did well for a man born anywhere. On March 30th, he passed away due to heart complications.
His soulful albums brought him global acclaim. Having started writing music at 32, Withers was already a mature man when he entered the spotlight. Such composure allowed his music to have a powerfully direct appeal, he started as a voice who had found himself. Even though he was active for less than two decades, he maintains among the most influential of musicians.
While Withers spent most of his life out of the public eye, the gift of his music is enough of an emotional treasure to have ever demanded more. His songs have gone on to define an era, and the sound, of American music.
Bill Withers and John Legend
Like all great musicians, Withers’s talent is not limited to one country. The world let go of one of her great talents. People throughout the world will mourn his loss, as his powerful music is still able to reach all, young and old, through Wither’s richness of tone, and his fullness of emotion.
Finally, at age 81, we lost Withers due to heart complications. Luckily, his talent is immortalized and will continue to be a quintessential part of American culture for generations to come. Still Bill is a perfect album to remember his energy at this time.
Despite being so distant, Wither’s music left the impression of feeling like you knew the man or at least wanted to. A good-natured spirit portrayed him as a man who was hard to get to know, but worth doing so.
From movies inspired by “Lean on Me” to musicians influenced by his sound, Withers has inspired innumerable artists and is truly a part of the American subconscious. We will continue to celebrate his talent as we always have, and his memory is still around to help us through the ongoing crisis.
Stream the Best of Bill Withers Playlist on Spotify