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Three-time GRAMMY winner Bill Withers has died of heart complications per the Associated Press. The celebrated soul singer-songwriter was 81 years old (3/31/20).
He's famous for iconic hits “Lean on Me”“Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lovely Day,” Withers got his musical start surprisingly late. He overcame a fairly prominent stutter when he was young. After he enlisted in the Navy at 17 and spent nine years in the service, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked numerous blue collar jobs on factory lines while painstakingly shaping his music at night. Withers signed to Sussex Records in 1970 when he was already 32 years old. Then in 1971, he produced his debut album Just As I Am which featured a cover of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” with a gospel-fused organ backing. The LP also boasted “Grandma’s Hands” and the seminal “Ain’t No Sunshine” which entered the American lexicon by being featured in countless films and turning into a ceremonial wedding staple. It peaked at number two on the Billboard charts.

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