The world awoke to the somber news that a light among the blues and soul music world was lost in the passing of 81-year-old Bill Withers, who passed away from heart complications on Monday (March 30).
His family confirmed his death in a statement issued to the Associated Press on Friday (April 3). “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,” the family statement read. “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.”
He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori.
An outpouring of tributes are flooding in from across social media in response to the legendary musician’s passing. Lenny Kravitz, Chance the Rapper, Nile Rogers, Jennifer Hudson and Questlove are among the chorus of people that are lifting up their voices to remember Withers’ legacy.
Kravitz took to Twitter where he posted an old black-and-white photo of Withers along with an emotional send-off. “Rest in power Bill Withers. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength,” he penned. “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.”
Chance The Rapper also shared a lengthy tribute on Twitter. “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," he expressed. “My heart really hurts for him, it reminds me of playing records at my grandma’s house.”
BET sends its love, light, and condolences to Withers' family during this time of their loss. See the rest of the tributes below:
(Photo: Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)