Bill Withers
File picture: Bill Withers arrives ahead of the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio April 18, 2015. Image Credit: Resuters

LOS ANGELES: Bill Withers, the legendary performer who defined 1970s soul with hits like "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean on Me" has died following heart complications, his family said in a statement. He was 81 years old.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other," the family said.

"In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones," they added.