Bill Withers, the influential US soul singer who wrote Lean on Me, Ain’t No Sunshine and Lovely Day has died aged 81 of heart complications, according to a statement from his family.
Withers wrote and recorded several other major hits including Use Me and Just the Two of Us, before retiring in the mid-1980s and staying out of the public eye.
He is survived by his wife Marcia Johnson and their two children, Todd and Kori. The family statement reads:
We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. 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