Speed Reads

R.I.P.

Bill Withers, 'Lean on Me' and 'Ain't No Sunshine' singer, dies at 81

Bill Withers, the beloved singer behind classic songs including "Lean on Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine," has died at 81.

Withers' family announced his death from heart complications in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday morning.

Withers won three Grammy Awards for "Ain't No Sunshine," "Just the Two of Us," and "Lean on Me." Among his other memorable songs are "Grandma's Hands" and "Lovely Day." While speaking on his 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Withers once told Rolling Stone, "I'm not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don't think I've done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia." He last released a new album in 1985.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father," Withers' family said on Friday. "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."