The great soul singer-songwriter Bill Withers has died of heart complications. The three-time Grammy winner was 81. Withers is best known for his hits "Lean on Me," "Lovely Day," "Ain't No Sunshine," and "Just the Two of Us" but he has penned and sung dozens of masterpieces. In 1985, after a miserable album recording and release experience, Withers walked away from the music industry. From Rolling Stone:
As the decades ticked by, many fans forgot that Withers was even alive, which he found hysterical. "One Sunday morning I was at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles," he told Rolling Stone. "These church ladies were sitting in the booth next to mine. They were talking about this Bill Withers song they sang in church that morning. I got up on my elbow, leaned into their booth and said, 'Ladies, it's odd you should mention that because I'm Bill Withers.' This lady said, 'You ain't no Bill Withers. You're too light-skinned to be Bill Withers!'"
In 2015, he made a rare public appearance when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "I still have to process this," he said shortly after learning the news. "You know that Billy Joel line, 'Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock & roll to me?' I'm happy to represent the old junk category."