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Bill Withers Biography

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Birth Name: William Harrison Withers, Jr.
Born: 1938/07/04
Birth Place: U.S.
Years Active: 1967–1985
Genres: Soul, R&B, Blues

William Harrison "Bill" Withers, Jr. (born July 4, 1938) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. Some of his best-known songs are "Lean on Me", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me", "Just the Two of Us", "Lovely Day", and "Grandma's Hands".

Clarence Avant of Sussex Records signed Withers to a record deal and assigned Booker T. Jones to produce Withers' first album. “Just as I Am” was released in 1971, with the tracks "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Grandma's Hands" as singles. The album features Stephen Stills playing lead guitar. The album reached #39 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and #5 on the Black Albums chart.

At the 14th annual Grammy Awards on Tuesday, March 14, 1972, Withers won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song for "Ain't No Sunshine." The track had already sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in September 1971.

Withers released his second album, “Still Bill” in 1972 by Sussex Records. The single "Lean on Me" went to number one the week of July 8, 1972. It was Withers second gold disc awarded track with confirmed sales in excess of three million. "Use Me" went to number two on the same chart in fall of 1972 and became his third million seller.

Withers signed with Columbia Records in 1975. His first release with the label, “Making Music, Making Friends,” included the single "She's Lonely."

During the next three years he released an album each year with “Naked & Warm” (1976), “Menagerie” (1977, containing the successful “Lovely Day”) and “Bout Love” (1978) and “Get On Down.”

In 1985 came “Watching You, Watching Me,” which featured the Top 40 rated R&B single "Oh Yeah". Withers ended his business association with Columbia Records after this release, which as of 2010 is his last studio album.