Bill Withers Part One
I know what you’re saying, why don’t I do Bill Withers Part Three, well I’m doing it now, so let’s have fun and enjoy.
In 1988, a new version of “Lovely Day“ from the 1977 Menagerie album, entitled“Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix)“ and remixed by Ben Liebrand, reached the Top 10 in theUnited Kingdom, leading to Withers‘ performance on the long-running Top of thePops that year. The original release had reached # 7 in the UK in early 1978, andthe re-release climbed higher to # 4.
In 1987, he received his ninth Grammy Award nomination and on March 2, 1988, histhird Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Song as songwriter for the re-recording of“Lean on Me“ by Club Nouveau on their debut album Life, Love and Pain, released in1986 on Warner Bros.
Records. In 1996, a portion of his song “Grandma‘s Hands“ was sampled in the song“No Diggity“ by BLACKstreet, featuring Dr. Dre. The single went to Number 1 on theBillboard Hot 100 chart and sold 1.6 million copies and won a Grammy in 1998 forBest R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Withers contributed two songs to Jimmy Buffett‘s 2004 release License to Chill.Following the reissues of Still Bill on January 28, 2003, and Just As I Am onMarch 8, 2005, there was speculation of previously unreleased material being issued as a new album. In 2006, Sony gave back to Withers his previously unreleased tapes.
In 2007, “Lean on Me“ was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
On January 26, 2014, at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, BillWithers: The Complete Sussex & Columbia Albums Collection, a nine-disc setfeaturing Withers‘s eight studio albums, as well as his live album Live atCarnegie Hall, received the “Best Historical“ Grammy Award (in a tie with TheRolling Stones‘ “Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965.“) The award was presentedto Leo Sacks, who produced the collection, and the mastering engineers MarkWilder, Joseph M. Palmaccio and Tom Ruff.
On April 18, 2015, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by StevieWonder. Withers was stunned when he learned he had been inducted into the Rock andRoll Hall of Fame. “I see it as an award of attrition,“ he says. “What few songs Iwrote during my brief career, there ain’t a genre that somebody didn’t record themin. I‘m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identifywith. I don’t think I‘ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.“
On October 1, 2015, there was a tribute concert at Carnegie Hall in his honor,featuring Aloe Blacc, Ed Sheeran, Dr. John, Michael McDonald and Anthony Hamiltonrecreating his 1973 concert album, Live at Carnegie Hall, along with other Withersmaterial. Withers was in attendance and spoke briefly onstage.
On February 12, 2017, he made an appearance on MSNBC to talk about the refugee crisis, as well as the political climate in America.
Withers married actress Denise Nicholas in 1973, during her stint on the sitcomRoom 222. A year prior to their marriage, Nicholas reported to the authorities that Withers physically assaulted her after she threatened to end their relationship, but she refused to press charges. The couple divorced in 1974. In 1976, Withers married Marcia Johnson, and they had two children, Todd andKori. Marcia eventually assumed the direct management of his Beverly Hills-based publishing companies, in which his children also became involved as they became adults.