The Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud to announce that a Bill Withers Scholarship will now be included in its scholarship program. The scholarships are presented prior to the SHOF’s June 16th Annual Induction & Awards Gala being held in New York City.
“Bill always referred to himself as a ‘word snob.’ He loved language and he loved storytelling. It was evident in his ability to articulate complex emotions and perspectives in a simple way that could be universally understood. Sting once said that the ‘hardest thing in songwriting is to be simple and yet profound’ and Bill did that very well,” says Marcia Withers in talking about her iconic late husband’s songwriting.
“I feel so blessed to have been able to witness his gifts up close for so many years. He was a solitary songwriter who spent so much time in his head before putting pen to paper. He was a discerning listener who would appreciate the words of his fellow songwriters who had coined a unique phrase,” she continued.
A 2005 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, as well as a 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Withers’ music is hard to categorize as it appeals to and is greatly appreciated by fans of all categories of music and it continues to be recorded by a vast array of multi-genre artists.
Although he bowed out of the limelight years ago, he never stopped creating and the songs he shared with the world have endured. He was humbled by his influence on future generations of musicians and songwriters. His Lean On Me has become a standard worldwide and an anthem of hope during our recent times. 2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of the song’s release and the “soulful masterpiece” album Still Bill.
The recipient of the Bill Withers Scholarship, as intended by Marcia and their daughter, singer/songwriter Kori Withers, will be one whose work reflects the eloquence of songwriting together with the spirit and soul that defines the songs of Bill Withers.