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Bill Withers Dies Aged 81

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R.I.P. Bill, I loved that song Lean On Me and others

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Bill Withers, the acclaimed 1970s soul singer behind hits Ain't No Sunshine and Lean On Me has died from heart complications aged 81, his family said.

The singer died on Monday in Los Angeles, the family told the Associated Press.

They described him in a statement as a "solitary man with a heart-driven to connect to the world".

"He spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other," the statement said.

Known for his smooth baritone vocals and sumptuous soul arrangements, he wrote some of the 70s best-remembered songs, including Just The Two Of Us, Lovely Day and Use Me.

One Lovely Day, he set the record for the longest sustained note on a US chart hit, holding a high E for 18 seconds.

Although he stopped recording in 1985, his songs remained a major influence on R&B and hip-hop.

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