Bill Withers

Bill Withers ( born July 4, 1938 as William Harrison Withers, Jr. in Slabfork, West Virginia) is an American singer and songwriter.


Withers was born in the mining town Slabfork. His parents divorced when he was three years old. He lived then temporarily with his mother Mattie Rose in Beckley. His father, William Harrison Withers Sr., a Baptist deacon and treasurer at the miners' union United Mine Workers of America, died when Withers was 13 years old. With 17 Withers Jr. joined the U.S. Army where he served for nine years including in the Middle East. During this time he began to write songs. In 1967 he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional career as a musician. First, he took on demo tapes - one of these bands led to a contract with the Hollywood -based record label Sussex Records. His debut album Just as I Am, produced by Booker T. Jones and was released in January 1971. It reached # 35 on the Billboard 200 unequal greater was the success of the first single Is not No Sunshine. This placed himself in third place on the Billboard Hot 100 and brought Withers year later a Grammy.

His self-produced during a tour break second album Still Bill (1972 ) reached number 1 in the United States. It contained the hits Lean on Me (No. 1 in the U.S.) and Use Me (2nd place). In October 1972, he took a live album at Carnegie Hall. In December, his mother died. Beginning of 1972 married Withers, settled the following year, but divorced again. By the end of the 1970s he continued to publish regularly albums, from 1975 on Columbia Records. He recorded another success in 1977 with Lovely Day. Since the early 1980s, he increasingly worked together with other artists, such as the Crusaders. His 1981 Grover Washington, Jr. rehearsed song Just the Two of Us peaked at number 2 on the Billboard charts and gave Withers 1982 his second Grammy. His last album, Watching You, Watching Me was released in 1985, after which he withdrew more and more from the public. In 2004, he appeared on the album License to Chill by Jimmy Buffett with.

Withers is married to his second wife since 1976. He has two children. On the South by Southwest Festival a documentary called Still Bill Withers about ' present life celebrated on 18 March 2009 its world premiere. The film was in the planning and production for eleven years. Besides Withers himself, among other things Cornel West and Sting have their say.

Cover versions and samples

Withers ' songs have been covered countless times, both shortly after publication as even today in various genres; many have been sampled in rap songs. Is not No Sunshine has been included in over 350 versions, among others, Michael Jackson, Sting, Isaac Hayes, Tom Jones and The Lighthouse Family for the movie Notting Hill. As a sample, it was used as of Tupac Shakur and Big Daddy Kane. 18 of the cover released in 2006 on one CD. German language versions published Gim 2002 My day, my light, Stefan Gwildis 2003 To all appearances, are you 's and Yvonne Elliman in 2006, also with my day, my light.

Also very often Lovely Day was reinterpreted as by Luther Vandross with Busta Rhymes and Diana Ross. Samples were used in songs by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and Twista (featuring Anthony Hamilton). With the cover version of Lean on Me by Club Nouveau in 1988, he won his third Grammy as a songwriter. Use Me was covered, among others, Mick Jagger & Lenny Kravitz, as well as Fiona Apple and sampled by UGK. Gladys Knight & the Pips, for temporarily Withers wrote songs, Creative Source, the eleven-minute radio version of LL Cool J was sampled, and Meshell Ndegeocello Who Is He who covered ( And What Is He to You ). Grandma 's Hands was covered by Barbra Streisand and used by Blackstreet for their hit No Diggity. Just the Two of Us was interpreted by Will Smith, Tupac, Eminem. The German Jazz -Rap- formation Jazzkantine coverte Use Me and Is not No Sunshine. Al Jarreau published in 1998 consisting exclusively of Withers - tracks album.



Compilations (selection)