The soul legend, responsible for anthems such as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me” and “Grandma’s Hands,” passed away from heart complications, according to a statement from his family, the Guardian reports.
“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 statement reads. “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.”
Born in 1938, Withers released eight albums between 1971 and 1985. His music was remixed and sampled repeatedly by electronic artists, including Norman Cook (AKA Fatboy Slim), Karizma, Muslimgauze and Henrik Schwarz.
Revisit Schwarz’s edit of “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?”