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‘Lean On Me’ Streams Gain 729% After Bill Withers’ Death

Following the death of Bill Withers on March 30 — and its announcement publicly on April 3, streams and sales of his iconic catalog of songs gained in great numbers, according to initial reports to…

Following the death of Bill Withers on March 30 — and its announcement publicly on April 3, streams and sales of his iconic catalog of songs gained in great numbers, according to initial reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Overall, his songs tallied 22.1 million on-demand streams (audio and video combined) in the U.S. on April 3-5 – up 780% as compared to 2.5 million on March 31-April 2.

Withers’ beloved tune “Lean On Me” was his most streamed track following his passing, with 4.1 million clicks (up 729% from 496,000). The 1972 single was written, produced and performed by Withers, and was his only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (of 13 total entries). It topped the list for three weeks in 1972.

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“Lean On Me” is one of a handful of songs to hit No. 1 by multiple artists. It was later revived by Club Nouveau in 1987, who topped the Hot 100 for two weeks with their cover of the track.

Withers’ second-most streamed song in the days after his death was “Lovely Day,” which was originally a No. 30 Hot 100 hit for Withers in 1978. “Lovely Day” generated 3.1 million streams (up 628% from 431,000).

Other reactive songs from his catalog include “Ain’t No Sunshine” (2.7 million; up 389% from 559,000), “Use Me” (1.5 million; up 842% from 156,000) and “Just the Two of Us” (with Grover Washington, Jr., 1.4 million; up 119% from 657,000).

Collectively, Withers’ overall songs sold 83,000 downloads in the U.S. (April 3-5), a gain of 7,159% compared to the 1,000 his tracks sold March 31-April 2.