Legend Bill Withers' History and Legacy
3-time Grammy award-winning Bill Withers was born July 4th, 1938, in the tiny coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia to a humble family. At 17-years old he enlisted in the Navy where he served for 9 years and grew his love for songwriting and singing.
Bill was a hard-working man who recorded his demos on his own dime while working as an assembler for many different companies. His first album Just As I Am was released in 1971 with the hit songs "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Grandma's Hands" released as singles.
With this start he found great success with Bill winning a Grammy for Best R&B Song for "Ain't No Sunshine" which sold over a million copies and earned the gold disc from the RIAA. Withers recorded his second album, Still Bill while on tour and released "Lean on Me" and"Use Me" as singles. Both smooth jams sold millions. "Lean on me" was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007!
In 1972 he recorded Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall that was released as an incredibly successful live album. Bill had made such an impact on the music industry with his gorgeous melodies and beautiful lyrics. He wrote and produced songs for Gladys Knight & the Pips and performed in concert with James Brown, Etta James, and B.B. King!
The hard-working artist went on to release an album every year between 1976 and 1978, Naked & Warm, Menagerie, and 'Bout Love and in 1980 he recorded "Just the Two of Us" with Grover Washington Jr. which won them the Grammy Award for Best R&B song.
Bill was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and 10 years later was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by his friend Stevie Wonder. Bill has two children with his ex-wife Denise Nicholas, Todd and Kori.
He passed away on March 30th due to heart complications. He has left an incredible impression on all who have heard his silky voice and heart-wrenching lyrics and has inspired countless of the great artists to follow in his footsteps.