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2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Withers Onstage with Stevie Wonder

Bill Withers

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Stevie Wonder
  • Category:
1938 - 2020

Inductee Bill Withers was a leading figure in the black singer-songwriter movement. He crafted quintessential ballads and groove-based tracks that are enduring classics. A masterful lyricist and brilliant vocalist, Withers made emotional connections with listeners on friendship, family, and vulnerability. His timeless songs have been covered and sampled by hundreds of artists, from Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson to Mary J. Blige and Willie Nelson.

Hall of Fame Essay


Rob Bowman

Bill Withers was simply not born to play the record industry game.

His oft-repeated descriptor for A&R men is “antagonistic and redundant.” Not surprisingly, most A&R men at Columbia Records, the label he recorded for beginning in 1975, considered him “difficult.”

Yet when given the freedom to follow his muse, Withers wrote, sang, and in many cases produced some of our most enduring classics, including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Use Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Grandma’s Hands,” and “Who Is He (and What Is He to You).”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2015
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Bill Withers_quote

every word they sing and express -- that you can relate to.

Stevie Wonder




Photography: Michael Zorn

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