Bill Withers dies: Kamala Harris, John Legend, Alicia Keys pay respects to R&B great

Bill Withers
Bill Withers, who died Monday of heart complications, at his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2015.
(Mike Coppola / Getty Images)

Reactions to the death of singer-songwriter Bill Withers took on a more personal tone Friday with people sharing the memories that songs like “Lean on Me” and “Lovely Day” had embedded in their minds.

“My heart really hurts for him,” Chance the Rapper tweeted, “it reminds me of playing records at my grandma’s house.”

“The day our daughter Kaavia James came into this world — ‘Lovely Day’ was our song of choice for her entry into the world,” tweeted NBA player Dwyane Wade, whose wife is actress Gabrielle Union. “Thank you Bill Withers for creating a song that will forever be [a part] of our lives.”


“This Is Us” actress Susan Kelechi Watson tweeted, “Press play on a #BillWithers track and it literally changes the atmosphere. Rest in peace, Bill Withers.”

Bill Withers, known for acoustic soul hits “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” died Monday of heart complications, his family said Friday.

April 3, 2020

Brian Wilson called Withers “a songwriter’s songwriter,” while Rosario Dawson said she would “forever lean on your music in times of need.”

Dawson continued, tweeting, “So grateful the world got to share in the poetry & music you created in this lifetime. Thank you always.”

Here are more reactions to the passing of the “Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lovely Day” R&B singer, who died Monday at 81 from heart complications. (His family announced the news Friday.)


In anticipation of Saturday’s induction ceremony in Cleveland for the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Calendar spotlights each of the acts being welcomed into the hall this year.

April 17, 2015