Bill Withers, the acclaimed 1970s soul singer behind hits Ain't No Sunshine and Lean On Me has died from heart complications aged 81.
The family told the Associated Press the singer died in Los Angeles.
They described him in a statement as a "solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world".
The statement said "He spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other".
Known for his smooth vocals and soulful arrangements, he wrote some of the 70s best-remembered songs, including Just The Two Of Us, Lovely Day and Use Me.
On Lovely Day, he set the record for the longest sustained note on a US chart hit, holding a high E for 18 seconds.
Rest in power Bill Withers. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength. My soul always has & always will be full of your music. Your humility displayed & depth of your power as you carried us all to a better place. You're still & always will be Bill. pic.twitter.com/mkpcSBfuZv— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) April 3, 2020
Although he stopped recording in 1985, his songs remained a major influence on R&B and hip-hop.
Lean On Me has recently become associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, with many people posting their own versions to support health workers.
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