Soul legend Bill Withers has died at age 81. The singer/songwriter, responsible for classic hits including "Lean On Me", "Lovely Day", "Just the Two of Us", and "Ain't No Sunshine", died on Monday, March 30, from heart complications, his family confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday.
"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 Withers' 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."
The three-time Grammy Award winner had a string of hits in the early 1970s, including "Lean On Me", which topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972.
"Lean On Me" has become something of an anthem during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions online.
Withers' songs have become hugely popular classics but he withdrew from making music in 1985. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by Stevie Wonder.
He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori.