Illustration for article titled Stevie Wonder Pays Tribute to Bill Withers With Performance of Lean on Me
Photo: Maury Phillips (Getty Images)

Stevie Wonder has been open about his admiration of his friend Bill Withers since the “Lovely Day’ musician’s passing in late March. During his live streamed performance for Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home event on Saturday, he made sure to pay tribute to the late great musician and also instill hope during these trying, uncertain times.

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“During hardships like this, we have to lean on each other for help,” Wonder said before his performance of “Lean on Me.” “My friend, the late Bill Withers, has the perfect song about that, and I want us to remember him tonight,” he continued. Wonder also sang a bit of his own song ‘Love’s In Need of Love Today” during his set.

Wonder inducted Withers into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2015, and–along with John Legend–performed “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean On Me.” This was Withers’ last live performance.

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“People will be listening to his songs and reading his lyrics like they do with great writers from ages ago, saying he was amazing. And yes, he was,” Wonder told Billboard of Withers’ legacy after his death. “We’ve got to show a lot of love to his wife and children and keep the legacy of what he left behind going ever strong. I think every artist at some point should record one of his songs on their projects. That’s how you keep it going. He deserves that.”

He also said that they were planning on collaborating before his death, and how special would that have been?

Music and culture journalist. Pronounced "Jay-nuh."

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