Outpouring of praise for Bill Withers, dead at 81

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Outpouring of praise for Bill Withers, dead at 81

New York - Soul legend Bill Withers may have left this world, but his legacy and inspiring music aren’t going anywhere.

Shortly after his family announced his death Friday at age 81, the music industry began pouring heartfelt tributes onto social media to honor one of the most loved and covered artists of all time.

“Grandma’s Hands, Ain’t No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Use Me Up, Just The Two Of Us and obviously Lovely Day are some of the best songs of all time,” Chance The Rapper wrote on Twitter. “My heart really hurts for him, it reminds me of playing records at my grandma’s house.”

John Legend , who performed alongside Withers at the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, called him “a special human being.”

“Mourning the loss of my friend and inspiration, Bill Withers ,” he tweeted. “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.”

Withers, whose brief music career had ended more than three decades ago, died Monday in Los Angeles , according to his family.

His soulful and inspiring songs have been sampled and covered by numerous artists over the years and become the soundtrack of weddings, engagements and many other events.

“Has anyone ever sang popular music better?” Flea, the bassist from Red Hot Chili Peppers, wrote on Instagram. “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 f---.”

Singer Lenny Kravitz also shared a heartfelt message to Withers on Twitter.

“Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength,” he wrote. “My soul always has & always will be full of your music. Your humility displayed & depth of your power as you carried us all to a better place. You’re still & always will be Bill.”

Alicia Keys , Brian Wilson , Jennifer Hudson , Margo Price and many others also took to social media.

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