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Artist: Bill Withers

Bill Withers

Bio

Bill Withers (born July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia) is an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s. Bill's father died when he was thirteen. He joined the US Navy at seventeen, and stayed there for nine years, before he moved to Los Angeles in 1967. While in Los Angeles, he worked full-time in a Lockheed assembly plant in the day, recording demo tapes and performing in juke joints during the night. When he debuted on the music scene with "Ain't No Sunshine," he refused to give up his job at Lockheed because of his belief that the music business was a fickle industry and that he was still a novice compared to other working acts like The Temptations or Sammy Davis, Jr. His first success was with the company Sussex Records in 1971 with his debut hit single Ain't No Sunshine on the album Just As I Am. He assembled a touring band made up of: drummer James Gadson, guitarist Bernoce Blackmon, keyboardist Ray Jackson, and bassist Melvin Dunlap. His second album Still Bill also did well on the charts. It was recorded during a break in the "Just As I Am" tour and included the well-known single "Lean on Me," which went to #1 on the charts on July 8, 1972. His live album, "Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall," released in 1973, was one of the best live albums to be released during the 1970s. Other popular songs he sings are "Use Me" and "Lovely Day," as well as "Just the Two of Us," which he performed with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. His songs have been covered by many singers and rappers. Club Nouveau's 1986 cover of "Lean on Me," which is now often used in many churches, earned Withers his third Grammy as a songwriter. Ten years earlier, the British glam rock band Mud took the song to No. 7 in the UK pop charts. Grace Jones covered his song "Use Me." Fiona Apple has also covered "Use Me" and "Kissing My Love" on her 1998 tour. Me'Shell Ndegeocello sang "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" on her 1996 album "Peace Beyond Passion." Will Smith samples Bill's "Just the Two of Us" in his 1997 song of the same name, and "Lovely Day" with the song "Lovely Daze," (a collaboration with DJ Jazzy Jeff released in 1998). The Country singer Kenny Rogers covered "Ain't No Sunshine" in 1999. Kanye West sampled his song "Rosie" in t
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Top Albums

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Just As I Am cover art

Just As I Am

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Still Bill cover art

Still Bill

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Greatest Hits: Lean On Me

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Top Songs

Ain't No Sunshine cover art

Ain't No Sunshine

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Lovely Day cover art

Lovely Day

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Lean on Me cover art

Lean on Me

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Use Me cover art

Use Me

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Grandma's Hands cover art

Grandma's Hands

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Just the Two of Us cover art

Just the Two of Us

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Harlem cover art

Harlem

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Recommended Albums

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Al Green by Al Green

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