Legendary musician Bill Withers, who is known for classic songs such as "Lean On Me," has died from heart complications at the age of 81.
His family announced the news to The Associated Press on Friday morning, saying “we are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father."
The three-time Grammy Award winner has a long list of hits, including "Ain’t No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Use Me," "Who Is He?" and "Just The Two Of Us."
Fans expressed their love for the musician on social media after hearing the news.
"My 8th grade graduating class sang Lean One Me for the ceremony," one social media user said. "Lovely Day is a powerfully beautiful and uplifting 'Everything is going to be alright' song about transcending love."
My 8th grade graduating class sang Lean One Me for the ceremony. Lovely Day is a powerfully beautiful and uplifting "Everything is going to be alright" song about transcending love...— Charles Halbert Jr 🍑 (@cejaialpha) April 3, 2020
"Wow, this hurts," another person said. "Feels like a piece of my childhood just died too. RIP."
Wow, this hurts. Feels like a piece of my childhood just died too. RIP 🙏🏽— Tracey (@tlg1028) April 3, 2020
And there were many more sentiments.
Great music. Great voice. Classic songs. May he Rest In Peace— Tigerman (@MoscovaRoger13) April 3, 2020
Damn Rest Easy ... Voice of Gold— Uno-Amor (@420LoveNYC) April 3, 2020
According to the AP, Withers was the last of six children and was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia. He was raised by his mother’s family after his parents divorced when he was 3 years old.
😢God bless him! I am a big fan of his music.❤️🙏🏼— RMC (@mytakeonya) April 3, 2020
The iconic singer joined the Navy when he was 17 years old and moved to Los Angeles after being discharged to work at an aircraft parts factory. He continued to work on his music at the same time and put out his first album, Just As I Am, in 1971. The album included classics such as “Grandma’s Hands” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
Withers earned Grammys for “Ain’t No Sunshine” in 1971 and for “Just The Two Of Us” in 1981. He later won his third Grammy for the re-recording of “Lean On Me.” In 2015, Stevie Wonder inducted Withers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"Loved his songs. May he rest in peace," one social media user said. "May his family find comfort in knowing that his songs touched millions."
Loved his songs. May he rest in peace. May his family find comfort in knowing that his songs touched millions.— Flod (@Flod60207184) April 3, 2020
Another person said "RIP. Lovely Day is my fave."
RIP. Lovely Day is my fave.— Alex N (@alexsalaneus) April 3, 2020
"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,” Withers' family stated. “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.”