Artist Name: Bill Withers

05 Jul 2006, 16:49 13,562,367 1,229,901

Bill WithersBill Withers (born July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia) is an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s.

Bill's father died when he was thirteen. He joined the US Navy at seventeen, and stayed there for nine years, before he moved to Los Angeles in 1967. While in Los Angeles, he worked full-time in a Lockheed assembly plant in the day, recording demo tapes and performing in juke joints during the night. When he debuted on the music scene with "Ain't No Sunshine," he refused to give up his job at Lockheed because of his belief that the music business was a fickle industry and that he was still a novice compared to other working acts like The Temptations or Sammy Davis, Jr.

His first success was with the company Sussex Records in 1971 with his debut hit single Ain't No Sunshine on the album Just As I Am. He assembled a touring band made up of: drummer James Gadson, guitarist Bernoce Blackmon, keyboardist Ray Jackson, and bassist Melvin Dunlap.

His second album Still Bill also did well on the charts. It was recorded during a break in the "Just As I Am" tour and included the well-known single "Lean on Me," which went to #1 on the charts on July 8, 1972. His live album, "Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall," released in 1973, was one of the best live albums to be released during the 1970s. Other popular songs he sings are "Use Me" and "Lovely Day," as well as "Just the Two of Us," which he performed with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.

His songs have been covered by many singers and rappers. Club Nouveau's 1986 cover of "Lean on Me," which is now often used in many churches, earned Withers his third Grammy as a songwriter. Ten years earlier, the British glam rock band Mud took the song to No. 7 in the UK pop charts. Grace Jones covered his song "Use Me." Fiona Apple has also covered "Use Me" and "Kissing My Love" on her 1998 tour. Me'Shell Ndegeocello sang "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" on her 1996 album "Peace Beyond Passion." Will Smith samples Bill's "Just the Two of Us" in his 1997 song of the same name, and "Lovely Day" with the song "Lovely Daze," (a collaboration with DJ Jazzy Jeff released in 1998).

The Country singer Kenny Rogers covered "Ain't No Sunshine" in 1999. Kanye West sampled his song "Rosie" in the song Roses". Twista sampled "Lovely Day" in the hit single "Sunshine" featuring Anthony Hamilton. Over the Rhine toured a cover of Ain't No Sunshine" during 2004 and recorded this on their album "Changes Come." When playing live, the band Eskimo Joe often begins their song "A Song is a City" with Kav singing "Ain't No Sunshine" as a prelude. Bill's song "Use Me" is also featured in the film "Anchorman." The start of the Blackstreet hit "No Diggity" features a sample of Bill's poem-turned-song "Grandma's Hands."

To this day, his most popular songs, including "Lovely Day," "Lean On Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine," have been used in countless television advertisements, thereby increasing his popularity as a well-respected artist. He remains one of the most significant and respected singer-songwriters of the 20th Century. Some of his songs, particularly "Lean On Me" and "Use Me", have been performed in churches because of their lyrics covering spirituality and unity.

Top Track of Atist: Bill Withers

Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers

Ain't No Sunshine

676,650
3,793,092
Lovely Day - Bill Withers

Lovely Day

396,261
1,814,451
Lean on Me - Bill Withers

Lean on Me

284,612
1,128,841
Use Me - Bill Withers

Use Me

227,377
911,481
Grandma's Hands - Bill Withers

Grandma's Hands

171,970
594,759
Just the Two of Us - Bill Withers

Just the Two of Us

81,139
315,810
Harlem - Bill Withers

Harlem

80,037
230,826
Kissing My Love - Bill Withers

Kissing My Love

67,265
180,952
Hello Like Before - Bill Withers

Hello Like Before

44,510
118,537
Better off Dead - Bill Withers

Better off Dead

43,826
123,760
Sweet Wanomi - Bill Withers

Sweet Wanomi

34,362
96,255
I Don't Know - Bill Withers

I Don't Know

29,984
84,078
Let It Be - Bill Withers

Let It Be

28,804
71,845
Do It Good - Bill Withers

Do It Good

22,680
61,462
I Wish You Well - Bill Withers

I Wish You Well

21,554
53,530
I'm Her Daddy - Bill Withers

I'm Her Daddy

20,461
59,171
Tender Things - Bill Withers

Tender Things

19,444
47,076
In My Heart - Bill Withers

In My Heart

16,918
43,011
Another Day to Run - Bill Withers

Another Day to Run

15,581
37,489
Friend of Mine - Bill Withers

Friend of Mine

14,757
35,856
My Imagination - Bill Withers

My Imagination

12,922
30,269
Soul shadows - Bill Withers

Soul shadows

12,766
34,798
Can We Pretend - Bill Withers

Can We Pretend

12,105
40,440
Heartbreak Road - Bill Withers

Heartbreak Road

12,091
28,871