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American Songwriter

The 13 Best Bill Withers Quotes

By Jacob Uitti,

2023-03-15
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In his short time in the public eye, Bill Withers wrote some of the best songs of all time.

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From “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Grandma’s Hands” to “Lean On Me” and “Lovely Day,” Withers penned and sang tunes that will last forever. In his career, he won three Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Born on July 4, 1938, Withers passed away on March 30, 2020, at the age of 81. But the man didn’t stay around in the public eye nearly that long, releasing his final LP, Watching You, Watching Me, in 1985.

Below, we wanted to celebrate the man for his impactful career by highlighting 10 quotes from the famed artist that might raise an eyebrow or two. These are the top 13 Bill Withers quotes.

1. “I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.”

2. “I write and sing about whatever I am able to understand and feel.”

3. “Don’t cheat yourself out of music. Music is one thing. The music business is another thing. Save enough of yourself to keep living anyway. Save enough joy in your heart to enjoy it.”

4. “Let your reward be in the doing of it.”

5. “I’m like pennies in your pocket. You know they’re there, but you don’t think about them.”

6. “My real life was when I was just a working guy. You know, it’s OK to head out for Wonderful. But on your way to Wonderful, you’re gonna have to pass through All Right. And when you get to All Right, take a good look around, and get used to it, because that may be as far as you’re gonna go.”

7. “I’ve always been serious that way, trying to evolve to a more conscious state. Funny thing about that, though. You tweak yourself, looking for more love, less lust, more compassion, less jealousy. You keep tweaking, keep adjusting those knobs until you can no longer find the original settings. In some sense, the original settings are exactly what I’m looking for—a return to the easygoing guy i was before my world got complicated, the nice guy who took things as they came and laughed so hard the blues would blow away in the summer wind.”

8. “I was wiser at 30 than I am now. My judgment was better at 12. If you look out the windshield of a Hyundai or a Bentley, you see the same road.”

9. “Value the people who value you!”

10. “The same love that made me laugh makes me cry.”

11. “I write and sing about whatever I am able to understand and feel.”

12. “Sellout… I’m not crazy about the word. We’re all entrepreneurs. To me, I don’t care if you own a furniture store or whatever – the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.”

13. “I would like to know how it feels for my desperation to get louder.”

Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns

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