US singer-songwriter Bill Withers dies aged 81

3 April 2020, 15:26

Bill Withers died at the age of 81
Bill Withers died at the age of 81. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

US singer-songwriter Bill Withers, whose hits included Lean On Me, has died aged 81, his family said.

The 3-time Grammy Award winner wrote a string of soulful 1970s hits including “Ain’t no Sunshine”. He died of heart complications.

The singer died on Monday in Los Angeles. His family described him as a “solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world.

"He spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other," the family’s statement said.

Crispin Hunt, chairman of the Ivors Academy, said in a statement: "We are extremely sad to hear that Bill Withers, one of the most influential songwriters on the planet, has died aged 81.

"Bill was a towering talent and incredibly lovely human being.

"He lit up the room at The Ivors in 2017 when presented with the PRS Special International Award saying: 'Ultimately, songwriters are simply dealing with feeling. And right now I'm humbled and dealing with the feeling you've given me by so graciously acknowledging my body of work over the years'."