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Bill Withers Has Top 2 Best-Selling Songs of the Week

The late soul giant claims the top-two selling songs in the U.S. this week with “Lean on Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine," following his death on March 30.

The late soul giant Bill Withers claims the top two best-selling songs in the U.S., as “Lean on Me” takes over the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart dated April 18 and “Ain’t No Sunshine” lands at No. 2. (The latest chart reflects sales in the tracking week ending April 9.)

The classic hits, two of Withers’ most famous recordings, experience the sales burst after news of the singer-songwriter’s death on March 30, which was announced publicly four days later (April 3).

“Lean,” Withers’ sole Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, sold 28,000 downloads in the week ending April 9, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, a 3,308% surge from its 1,000 sum in the previous frame. The 1972 single becomes the oldest release to hit No. 1 on Digital Song Sales, supplanting the previous record-holder, Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” As with Withers, Rogers’ 1978 hit resurfaced in the wake of the country icon’s death on March 20.

“Sunshine,” meanwhile, opens at No. 2 on Digital Song Sales thanks to 26,000 downloads, up 3,712%.

In addition to the top two spots, four more Withers’ songs arrive on Digital Song Sales:

No. 5, “Lovely Day,” 18,000 (up 3,152%)
No. 12, “Use Me,” 10,000 (up 4,301%)
No. 17, “Just The Two of Us,” with Grover Washington, Jr., 8,000 (2,364%)
No. 50, “Grandma’s Hands,” 3,000 (up 3,977%)


On the streaming side, “Ain’t No Sunshine” leads the pack with 5.6 million U.S. clicks in the week ending April 9, up 121% from the prior week. Behind that, Withers’ next best streamers are a familiar group: “Lean on Me” (4.4 million, up 175%), “Lovely Day” (4 million, up 348%), “Just The Two of Us” (2.1 million, up 107%) and “Use Me” (2 million, up 236%).

The big sales and streaming sums for “Sunshine” and “Lean” help the tracks re-enter the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at Nos. 22 and 23, respectively. “Sunshine,” which peaked at No. 6 on the chart in 1971, clocks a 17th total week on the tally, while “Lean,” a former one-week champ, picks up an 18th week.

Activity surrounding all of Withers’ albums and songs helps the late performer debut at No. 9 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart, while social media reactions to his death prompt his No. 12 debut on the Social 50 chart.