Withers wrote and recorded several other major hits including Use Me and Just the Two of Us, before retiring in the mids 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.
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He was The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mids, died on Monday in Los Angeles, the statement said. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones. They have powerful melodies and perfect grooves melded with a smooth voice that conveys honesty and complex emotions without vocal acrobatics. He was a beautiful man with a stunning sense of humor and a gift for truth. Withers, who overcame a childhood stutter, was born the last of six children in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. He joined the Navy at 17 and spent nine years in the service as an aircraft mechanic installing toilets. After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles, worked at an aircraft parts factory, bought a guitar at a pawn shop and recorded demos of his tunes in hopes of landing a recording contract. Jones at the helm. He no longer had complete control over his music and chafed when it was suggested he do an Elvis cover.
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The career of Bill Withers, who has died aged 81 of heart complications, followed an unusual trajectory. He did not try to enter the music industry until after he had spent nine years in the US Navy, leaving the service in and moving to Los Angeles two years later. By the time he released his debut album, Just As I Am , in he was 33, an age at which many pop careers have already been and gone. But Withers made up for lost time. This was an ode to the power of friendship conceived with the simplicity of a gospel classic, apparently the work of an artist in complete control of his music and his destiny.
William Harrison Withers Jr. July 4, — March 30, was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for six more. His life was the subject of the documentary film Still Bill. Withers worked as a professional musician for just 15 years, from to , after which he moved on to other occupations. Withers, the youngest of six children, was born in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia on July 4, He left the Navy in , and relocated to Los Angeles in to start a music career. When he debuted with the song " Ain't No Sunshine " in , he refused to resign from his job because he believed the music business was a fickle industry. During early , Withers's demonstration tape was auditioned favorably by Clarence Avant , owner of Sussex Records.