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Bill Withers Leads R&B Songwriters Chart, Powered by ‘Lean on Me’ & ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’

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Ed Caraeff/Getty Images Bill Withers poses for a portrait on Feb. 8, 1974 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The iconic R&B/soul singer passed away on March 30. Bill Withers, who died of heart complications on March 30, leads Billboard's R&B Songwriters chart (dated April 18) for the first time, as two of his iconic hits debut…
Bill Withers Leads R&B Songwriters Chart, Powered by ‘Lean on Me’ & ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’
Bill Withers

Ed Caraeff/Getty Images

Bill Withers poses for a portrait on Feb. 8, 1974 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The iconic R&B/soul singer passed away on March 30.

Bill Withers, who died of heart complications on March 30, leads Billboard‘s R&B Songwriters chart (dated April 18) for the first time, as two of his iconic hits debut on the Hot R&B Songs chart.

“Ain’t No Sunshine,” which he solely wrote, and “Lean on Me,” which he co-wrote with Ray Jackson, debut at Nos. 6 and 7, respectively, on Hot R&B Songs.

The tracks are concurrently the top-selling hits in the U.S., as “Lean on Me” takes over the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s all-genre Digital Song Sales chart (with 28,000 sold, up 3,308%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data) and “Ain’t No Sunshine” surges to No. 2 (26,000, up 3,712%). The latest chart reflects sales in the tracking week ending April 9; Withers’ death was announced publicly April 3.

Withers also charts two albums on the all-format Billboard 200 chart. His 1972 sophomore set Still Bill re-enters at No. 77 with 10,000 equivalent album units earned, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The set originally peaked at No. 4 in 1972. Plus, his 1971 debut Just as I Am re-enters at No. 86 (9,000 units); it originally reached No. 39.

Meanwhile, Booker T. debuts at No. 8 on the R&B Producers chart, thanks to his claiming the sole production credit on “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Booker T. (last name Jones) boasts 17 career entries on the Hot 100 as leader of Booker T. & the M.G.’s, including three top 10s: “Green Onions” (No. 3, 1962), “Hang ‘Em High” (No. 9, 1969) and “Time Is Tight” (No. 6, 1969).

The weekly R&B Songwriters and R&B Producers charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on the Hot R&B Songs chart; As with Billboard‘s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).

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