Soul Music Legend Bill Withers Dies At 81: 'His Music Belongs To The World'

Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of 1970s soul classics including "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day" and "Ain't No Sunshine," has died from heart complications at age 81.

Withers' passed away in Los Angeles, his family confirmed Friday morning to the Associated Press.

Despite his withdrawal from public view in the 1980s, many of Withers' hits enjoy status as beloved timeless standards in the canon of American music.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father," read a statement from the family. "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."

As the novel coronavirus pandemic took over the western world last month, "Lean On Me" enjoyed a resurgence as an anthem for frontline healthcare workers.

The song was also performed at the inaugurations of presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Photo: Getty Images

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