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Bill Withers, an acclaimed vocalist known for songs like "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," and "Grandma's Hands," passed away from heart complications on Monday (March 30). He was 81.
With a legendary pen that wrote three Grammy Awards, an NAACP Image Award, and an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award into his trophy case, Withers’ melodies served as the soundtrack for many listeners across generational lines. The Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee was later bestowed with the title of a soul legend by the masses given his striking lyrics.
Here, those who were touched by his music share their reactions on social media.
One day I will play this song again because it IS a lovely day. For now, Rest In Peace dear man. Your music cheered my heart and soothed my soul. https://t.co/wdqebBRFkW
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) April 3, 2020
Aw man, Bill Withers was really the greatest. 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. My heart really hurts for him, it reminds me of playing records with at my grandma’s house
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 3, 2020
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Rest well Bill Withers.
Bill Withers was part of the soundtrack to Saturday mornings when it was time to clean the house. I know my mom is crushed right now. 😔
So many positive childhood memories. #billwithers
— sheena. (@raneehs) April 3, 2020
The world lost a legend. Soul singer Bill Withers' song Grandma's Hands is one of my favorites and reminds me of my grandmother and so many other mother-figures in my life.
Let's all continue to live by his cherished lyrics during these times and lean on each other.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 3, 2020
will miss bill withers’ sweet baritone. growing up, my family spent many a sunday morning getting ready for church listening to his music. his music is as familiar to me as buster brown shoes and bacon frying in a casket iron skillet. gah, we lost a good one!
— jaredmichaelowe (@jaredmichaelowe) April 3, 2020
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2020 has been awful to us. #RIP Bill Withers. I’m going to be listening to his music all day. If you are unaware of just how important Bill Withers is to hiphop, google “Who sampled Bill Withers.” If you are unaware of how important Bill Withers is to music and to our culture, watch the Still Bill documentary. Keep your loved ones in your heart, always.
#LeanOnMe was the first song i sang in school choir. it introduced me to the heartbeat of my own grandparents. rest dear #billwithers and thank you for the gift of so much peace. https://t.co/YSQujz5hDj
— mobrowne (@mobrowne) April 3, 2020
My heart is demolished . 💔💔💔 I loved Bill Withers like a father. I promised Bill last time we spoke I would always look out for his son Todd-who has autism.🙏🏽
My deepest heartfelt condolences to his beautiful wife Marcia, Kori and of course Todd.
I HATE 2020. I swear 😞 pic.twitter.com/VKdH1Ou011
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) April 3, 2020
Ellis Marsalis and now Bill Withers, all these libraries burning 💔
— Diana Armstrong (@SimbaFiasco_) April 3, 2020
REST IN LOVE Bill Withers 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/V4oPJDbPyZ
— Keary Colbert (@kearycolbert) April 3, 2020
Ain’t No Sunshine is forever one of my favorite songs. It has such a special place in me and my brother’s heart. Sleep in power, Bill Withers.
— dique a phantom thief (@voodewchild) April 3, 2020
RIP to this National Treasure .. Bill Withers 🙏🏾😪 pic.twitter.com/NoMj2fiM3T
— Kaelynn KK Harris (@kaelynnharris) April 3, 2020
Heaven gained another angel 😇 RIH Bill Withers 1938-2020 pic.twitter.com/qY6mqK4Rai
— Effortless Beauty ♊ (@ladybear83) April 3, 2020
Oh no my friend Bill Withers has died. One of the best songwriters and lovely humans ever. Fuck U 2020 U suck
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) April 3, 2020
bill withers has one of those voices that moves me. i always felt like he was speaking from a place I could identify with my soul. we lost a legend today.
— bad n bruja (@geminisunvenus) April 3, 2020
#RIPBillWithers Class, class and more class. https://t.co/nmdufDEpFP
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) April 3, 2020
Ask any songwriter in the world and they will tell you Bill Withers was a genius whose life's work was a gift. Rest in peace. You are beloved.pic.twitter.com/3rbXxVs7jt
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) April 3, 2020
“He’s the last African-American Everyman,” musician and band leader Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.”
— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) April 3, 2020
Bill Withers. RIP. Thanks for all the magic.
— Alchemist Type Beat (@Alchemist) April 3, 2020
R.I.P. Bill Withers 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 Super Legend
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) April 3, 2020
Rest in power Bill Withers. Your voice, songs, and total expression gave us love, hope, and strength. 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. pic.twitter.com/mkpcSBfuZv
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) April 3, 2020
With increased cases of inmates and prison personnel contracting the COVID-19 virus at an alarming speed, organizations are preparing personal necessities equipment to help them battle against the illness. According to ABC News, REFORM Alliance—founded by Meek Mill, Jay-Z, and other criminal justice reform leaders—will administer 100,000 masks, with 50,000 of those being sent to Rikers Island.
In a statement given to the news site, the organization’s chief political officer at REFORM, Jessica Jackson, said there’s a crisis brewing within the country’s prison systems amid the novel coronavirus. “We are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. There are horror stories coming from people in jails and prisons across the country,” Jackson said. “REFORM Alliance is seeking to help to get medical supplies into correctional facilities, and we’re also pushing Governors across the country to enact our SAFER Plan recommendations to get people out quickly and safely.”
The Tennessee Department of Corrections will receive 40,000 masks while 5,000 masks will be sent to Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman which has been a location of Team ROC's focus given prior conditions that inmates are facing.
To stress how this virus can affect anyone, Meek Mill shared with his fanbase that his uncle is in the hospital battling the respiratory illness. "He was just healthy weeks ago!" Mill stated. In order to slow the virus' spread, local state governments have issued stay-at-home orders for workers with non-essential jobs. The mandate was amplified to help alleviate some stress off of healthcare professionals that are working extensively long shifts to keep up with the number of patients in the hospitals.
My uncle called me from the hospital sounding like he critical condition from covid-19... He just was healthy weeks ago! Don’t go outside and walk a deadly virus in the house with your family! 🙏🏾🙏🏾 (fallback) pls
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 2, 2020
Covid hitting family members and friends Now... go in the house!
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 2, 2020
YNW Melly tested positive for coronavirus while being locked up in Broward County Florida, and plans to file a motion for “restricted release” as he awaits trial for double murder, the rapper’s team announced on his Instagram account on Thursday (April 2).
“Melly has tested positive for COVID-19 today while awaiting his trial in Broward County Jail. He’ll be filing a motion for restricted release in hopes of better care due to any jails not being prepared to treat this new virus,” reads the post, which also ask for fans to send Melly “positive energy.”
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Melly has tested positive for COVID-19 today while awaiting his trial in Broward County Jail. He’ll be filing a motion for restricted release in hopes of better care due to any jails not being prepared to treat this new virus. He hopes for your support and to recover soon #prayformelly send positive energy to him please
The 20-year-old rapper, born Jamell Demons, stands accused of murdering two of his friends, 21-year-old Anthony Williams, and 19-year-old Chistopher Thomas Jr., in 2018. Melly pleaded not guilty to the double-murder charges and is also suspected of fatally shooting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in 2017.
His coronavirus announcement comes as activists continue to call for the release of nonviolent offenders amid the global pandemic.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that two inmates tested positive for the viral disease. One of the inmates was arrested last month and was screened upon being housed at BSO’s North Bureau, but showed no symptoms. A second inmate was sent to a hospital on Tuesday (March 31) for an unrelated issue and was tested for COVID-19. The results came back positive the following day. “The housing units where he has been were placed in quarantine as a precaution,” the BSO said in a statement.
The state of Florida has so far confirmed 9,000 coronavirus cases and 141 deaths. Many of the cases have been concentrated in Miami-Dade County, which has 2,886 cases and 20 deaths, followed by Broward County with at least 1,481 confirmed cases and 17 deaths.