Major figures from across the worlds of music and entertainment have been paying tribute to the late Bill Withers, who has died at the age of 81.
The ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and ‘Lean On Me’ musician’s death on Monday (March 30) was confirmed in a statement issued by his family today (April 3), with his cause of death being attributed to heart complications.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father,” the statement reads. “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.”
A flurry of tributes have been posted on social media this afternoon in the wake of Withers’ passing, including from the likes of Brian Wilson, Lenny Kravitz, Nile Rodgers, Jennifer Hudson and Graham Coxon.
You can see a selection of the tributes to Withers below.
I’m very sad to hear about Bill Withers passing. Bill was a “songwriter’s songwriter” and wrote so many great songs like “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean On Me.” A real loss. Love & Mercy to Bill’s family. – Brian pic.twitter.com/dUGAre6Bjt
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) April 3, 2020
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
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) April 3, 2020
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This news is super devastating. Just this week alone losing Vaughn Mason, Ellis Marsalis, Manu Dibango, & Wallace Rooney….was painful but Bill Withers man….this guy was my FIRST idol before The Jackson 5ive or Prince. He was our Springsteen…our Everyman. One of the last celebrated blue collar musicians. Man this hurts to hear.
Very Sad.. this clip of Bill and hos amazing band was a huge favourite for the Coxonaughts on the road. RIP😥 Withers – Ain't No Sunshine https://t.co/ELpQ2j1dE6
— graham coxon (@grahamcoxon) April 3, 2020
RIP Bill Withers 💔
— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) 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
Rest In Peace, maestro Bill Withers.
What a legacy.https://t.co/GBImqLRdPh
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) April 3, 2020
Ah. Bill Withers. To whom was he not a revelation?
Go well, old love x
— Alison Moyet (@AlisonMoyet) April 3, 2020
Today we lost one of the sweetest souls. Bill Withers RIP. A more gentle, poetic and dignified man you will struggle to find. He was gracious enough to let me sample him on ‘demons’. Check out ‘Grandma’s Hands’ to remember one of soul music’s finest songwriters… xxx pic.twitter.com/iKzQD1rGJG
— Fatboy Slim (@FatboySlim) April 3, 2020
Just got word that Bill Withers has passed away
He sure graced us with some great songs
Lean On Me will always be a classic.
Rest In Peace Sir
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) April 3, 2020
Bill Withers you are beloved. I will forever lean on your music in times of need. So grateful the world got to share in the poetry & music you created in this lifetime. Thank you always. You’ve truly been a blessing. Rest In Paradise. Rest In Power. Please sing to my grandma…
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) April 3, 2020
Oh no my friend Bill Withers has died. One of the best songwriters and lovely humans ever. Fuck U 2020 U suck
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) April 3, 2020
RIP Bill Withers… that’s a really sad one. Such a unique amazing musician and song writer.. thanks for everything Bill….
— nigel godrich 🌈 (@nigelgod) April 3, 2020
The silencing of a sublime voice. RIP Bill Withers. Aint no sunshine.
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) April 3, 2020
So sad to hear Bill Withers has passed. If you’ve never heard it, listen to Live at Carnegie Hall. ♥️https://t.co/id5hgGuk3O
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) April 3, 2020
One day I will play this song again because it IS a lovely day. For now, Rest In Peace dear man. Your music cheered my heart and soothed my soul.
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) April 3, 2020
One of the musical cornerstones of my life…
Rest Easy Bill Withers! We so need yours songs right now!#RIPBW
— DJ Jazzy Jeff (@djjazzyjeff215) April 3, 2020
PS And ,the drummer ,is cool as fuck!! HaHa-Edwyn
— Edwyn Collins (@EdwynCollins) April 3, 2020
Ask any songwriter in the world and they will tell you Bill Withers was a genius whose life's work was a gift. Rest in peace. You are beloved.pic.twitter.com/3rbXxVs7jt
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) April 3, 2020
RIP THE GREAT BILL WITHERS! YOUR LEGACY WILL NEVER DIE!!! pic.twitter.com/dytDts4ZzR
— Metro Boomin (@MetroBoomin) April 3, 2020
I love listening to Bill Withers sing. Today as we mourn his death, we should lean into the sentiment of one of his most loved songs: lean on each other when times are tough and know that there's always tomorrow. May he rest in peace. https://t.co/rWbTYNp9Ki
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) April 3, 2020
RIP Bill Withers
— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) April 3, 2020
Damn!! 💔 2020 really sucks. RIP the great Bill Withers. pic.twitter.com/4ixSCocuGc
— Michael Kiwanuka (@michaelkiwanuka) April 3, 2020
Rest in peace, Bill Withers. Prince admired Mr. Wither's music and liked to cover his songs live, including "Use Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine." #BillWithers #RIPLegendhttps://t.co/W6vmbN2ykC pic.twitter.com/TZR06lYqFu
— Prince (@prince) April 3, 2020