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Bill Withers, soulful singer of 'Ain't No Sunshine,' dead at 81

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  • Bill Withers, soulful singer of 'Ain't No Sunshine,' dead at 81

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bill Withers, a soulful singer best known for the 1970s hits “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died at age 81 from heart complications, his family said on Friday.

    Withers produced nine albums, most of them written and recorded in the 1970s, starting with “Just As I Am,” which included “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which won him the first of three Grammy Awards, according to his official website.

    His musical career ebbed in the 1980s as he left “the hype and the hoopla” of the spotlight for a more private life, it said.

    “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,” Rolling Stone magazine quoted the family as saying a statement. “As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world.”

    Withers was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, among his several honors, and made a rare public appearance to accept the tribute.

    His death drew a flood of tributes, including one from Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who said he often played Withers’ “Lovely Day” at events during his now-ended presidential campaign.

    “In this time of death and pain, I hold onto him,” Booker said in a statement. “He gave us lifetimes of light and that flame will never be extinguished.”

    Booker’s former campaign rival, Senator Kamala Harris of California, called Withers a legend whose song “Grandma’s Hands” reminded her of her own grandmother and other mother figures.

    “Let’s all continue to live by his cherished lyrics during these times and lean on each other,” Harris said in a statement.

    William Harrison Withers Jr. was born on July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, West Virginia, a coal country town of 200, the son of a miner who died when Withers was 13. He joined the Navy at 17 as his “ticket out,” according to his website.

    After his military service, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked in an aircraft parts factory, taught himself to play the guitar and made a demo tape that launched his career.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-p...-idUSKBN21L2AQ

    My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

  • #2
    Very sad, he had some huge classics.

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    • #3
      I was shocked when I heard the news yesterday. 'Ain't No Sunshine', 'Lovely Day', 'Just the Two of Us' and 'Lean on Me' made him a legend.
      My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Benny View Post
        I was shocked when I heard the news yesterday. 'Ain't No Sunshine', 'Lovely Day', 'Just the Two of Us' and 'Lean on Me' made him a legend.
        Absolutely.

        Ain't No Sunshine was undoubtedly his most classic song but IMO Lovely Day was the best of his big hits - that is such a timeless song.



        And unlike Ain't No Sunshine, it hasn't been completely roasted on every talent show over the years by countless singers.

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        • #5
          Lovely Day is his best for me, containing the second-longest held note after A-Ha’s Summer Moved On.
          THRILLER’S SOUNDS OF THE 90s

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          • #6
            Rest in peace!
            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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            • #7
              RIP

              You Love The 90's Dance Era?
              http://www.1.fm/station/partyzone90s

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              • #8
                RIP
                He had some true classics.
                Diva!!!

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                • #9
                  Extraordinary that Ain't No Sunshine wasn't a hit in the UK. We had to make do with Michael Jackson's cover version....

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                  • #10
                    "Lovely Day" is my tune. RIP
                    jio CHARTS NOW:29/6/2020: https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...5#post10423855

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                    • #11
                      I can't believe all of those classics came from him.... damn!!!!
                      Diva!!!

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                      • #12
                        R. I. P. :-(

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                        • #13
                          I'm not really familiar with his discography... I love "Lovely Day" and "Just The Two Of Us". I also recognized "We Could Be Sweet Lovers" that I also like from the video above, I don't really like "Ain't No Sunshine" or "Lean On Me" but once this corona horror ends and I am able to order cds again, I will check him out more. Shame that nobody in the charts can sing as everybody in the 70s were...
                          jio CHARTS NOW:29/6/2020: https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...5#post10423855

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                          • #14
                            Had no idea he did Lovely Day! Lean On Me is just a beautiful song - I was just listening to it and singing along a few weeks ago.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thriller View Post
                              Lovely Day is his best for me, containing the second-longest held note after A-Ha’s Summer Moved On.
                              I didn't know the A-ha fact! I'm sure most people think Lovely Day is the longest. RIP.
                              Tony's Charts ft Hits / Albums (4th July 20) - Young Ejecta, Sault, Sunmi, Millie Turner, Clan Of Xymox, John Carpenter, Hacker T Dog, Hurts, Hayley Williams, Jessie Ware, Kitty, Arca, Nadine Shah, Haim, Ray Lamontagne, Daniel Avery, Snowgoose, Grey Daze, Fire Saga.....

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                              • #16
                                Just found another link that corrects the outdated article used for Wikipedia. The A-ha vocal note is only a European record (it even says that on Wiki but still incorrectly credits the feat).

                                Melba Moore is the listed victor here with 36 seconds!!

                                https://www.listal.com/list/longest-note-held-singing
                                Last edited by Blondini; Mon April 6th, 2020, 00:47.
                                Tony's Charts ft Hits / Albums (4th July 20) - Young Ejecta, Sault, Sunmi, Millie Turner, Clan Of Xymox, John Carpenter, Hacker T Dog, Hurts, Hayley Williams, Jessie Ware, Kitty, Arca, Nadine Shah, Haim, Ray Lamontagne, Daniel Avery, Snowgoose, Grey Daze, Fire Saga.....

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Benny View Post
                                  I was shocked when I heard the news yesterday. 'Ain't No Sunshine', 'Lovely Day', 'Just the Two of Us' and 'Lean on Me' made him a legend.
                                  He was all class Benny, He gave us some incredible iconic songs. May he Rest In Peace.

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                                  • #18
                                    R.I.P.
                                    trebor's - 2016 in Country Music
                                    trebor's - 2015 in Country Music

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                                    • #19
                                      Some of the biggest classics in music came from him.
                                      I am the maniac, I am the ghoul
                                      I'm in the shadows in the corners of my room

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                                      • #20
                                        I'm just watching some of his performances on TV.A true legend. RIP BILL

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