Born: July 4, 1938
Died: March 30, 2020
Genres: Soul, R&B, smooth soul, blues, funk
Bill Withers was truly one of a kind. The Grammy award winning singer-songwriter blessed audiences with stellar songs, his smooth baritone voice and soulful arrangements. He is beyond deserving of receiving his flowers because there will never be another. Withers has given us so many classics during his tenure as a musician. A whole legend.
Bill’s music has been covered, sampled and interpolated by generation after generation. You WANT to be given your flowers while you’re still on Earth. & Bill was given that on more than one occasion.
Albums Released: Just as I am, Still Bill, +’Justments, Making Music, Naked & Warm, Menagerie, ‘Bout Love.
Bill was signed to Sussex Records by industry titan Clarence Avant, and began work on his first album..which was titled “Just as I Am.” The album was released in May of 1971, with “Ain’t No Sunshine” & “Grandma’s Hands” being singles from the album. The songs are some of his most sampled and covered songs as well! Fun fact: Bill won the Grammy award for Best R&B Song for “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
His follow up album “Still Bill” was released the following year and went number one of the soul albums charts, due to the success of singles “Use Me” & “Lean on Me.”
Bill continued bless audiences with gems throughout the 70s like “Lovely Day,” “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh,” “Kissing My Love,” “It’s All Over Now” and many more!
Albums Released: Watching You Watching Me.
In the early 80s, Bill wrote and was featured on the hit song “Just the Two of Us” with Grover Washington. It was top 3 on the pop & R&B charts and won the Grammy award for Best R&B song.
Bill’s final album was released in 1985, ending his career and contract with Columbia Records. Dissatisfied with how his label wanted to have control over how he should sound if he wanted to sell more records, leaving the music industry overall seem perfect for him. He enjoyed being a “normal guy,” making it easier to give it all up for the simplicity of not being in the spotlight.
Bill Withers passed away in Los Angeles on March 30th, 2020 at the age of 81. He will always be remembered for being the quintessential black male artist the industry needed. His legacy will always live on because of his incredible songwriting, known hits and awesome voice. Rest peacefully legend. Ain’t No Sunshine since you’ve been gone. – MJ.