John Legend, Lenny Kravitz and More Celebs Pay Tribute to Bill Withers: 'A Special Human Being'

Many of Bill Withers‘ fans are mourning his death, including his famous friends and admirers.

Withers, whose timeless hits include “Lean on Me,” “Just the Two of Us” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” died Monday in Los Angeles from heart complications. He was 81.

Musicians, from various genres, paid tribute to Withers on social media after news of his death was made public.

John Legend shared multiple tweets on Friday. “Mourning the loss of my friend and inspiration, Bill Withers. He was such an incredible songwriter and storyteller. I’m so glad he shared his gift with the world. Life wouldn’t be the same without him,” wrote Legend, who previously covered Withers’ “I Can’t Write Left-Handed” with The Roots.

“This song will always mean so much to me. Our performances of it were always epic and emotional. Some of my favorite of my entire musical life. Captain Kirk’s guitar solo was so powerful and dynamic and unpredictable. The first time I ever cried while cutting a vocal was this,” he continued.

RELATED: Bill Withers, ‘Lean on Me’ and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ Singer, Dies of Heart Complications at 81

Legend also posted an anecdote about how he and Withers kept in contact over the years. “Bill and I became friends after he saw this YouTube clip. His friend Bill Russell (yes that Bill Russell) called him up and told him to check it out. Then he emailed someone who then emailed my manager who then forwarded it to me. He loved our version. My year was made,” the star tweeted. “The way he communicated it was via a long, funny email that I later discovered was a trademark of his. I always looked forward to hearing from him. He always had a great story for me, told with charm and wit and humor. What a special human being.”

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Fellow singers, including Lenny Kravitz, Kacey Musgraves, Kid Rock and Chance the Rapper, also expressed their gratitude to Withers for his musical legacy.

View this post on Instagram Ahh man. Has anyone ever sang popular music better? Take a bath in that voice. He touched my heart every time. He had no interest in fame-game and power, so he stepped away from the music business as a young man, after he got what he needed, and enjoyed his life. His songs will always sound fresh, exciting, deep and sexy as fuck. Bill Withers I love you, an infinite wellspring of inspiration and joy. I’m about to crank up some Bill and let the cosmic healing energies of his voice flow through me once again. If you can, google Old Grey Whistle Test and check his performance on that show. The great James Gadson on drums too.

A post shared by Flea (@flea333) on Apr 3, 2020 at 7:40am PDT

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TV and film stars, such as Wendy Williams, Jeffrey Wright and Billy Dee Williams, shared snippets of Withers’ hits on Twitter along with loving tributes.

View this post on Instagram Soul icon #BillWithers passed away on Monday in Los Angeles at the age of 81 due to heart complications. He is best known for his hits ‘Lean on Me,’ ‘Lovely Day’ and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine.’ Thank you for your great legacy of music.

A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on Apr 3, 2020 at 10:09am PDT

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And athletes, including Dwyane Wade and Russell Wilson, as well as politicians posted their condolences.

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Withers’ family confirmed his death in a statement to the Associated Press on Friday.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. 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 family said. “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.”



Source: People.com (https://people.com/music/bill-withers-dead-celebrity-reactions/)

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