Justin Timberlake paid tribute to Bill Withers, “one of my greatest idols,” after the legendary soul singer died at the age of 81 on Friday.
“You taught me so much to keep it simple and real. I felt such kinship with you before we even met, “wrote Timberlake on Instagram.
“Your words and your melodies … the chords that accompanied them … they penetrated my soul and spoke to me so deeply. That’s what your music did. It brought us closer to many of you and to each other. ”
Timberlake has long professed his love of Withers music and has already admitted that his own hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling” was inspired by the Withers classic “Lovely Day”; Timberlake played a medley of two titles at the 2017 Oscars.
During Timberlake’s long hiatus between FutureSexLoveSounds in 2006 and The 20/20 Experience in 2013, he talked about the impact of Withers and the documentary Always Bill had on his career. “I have never seen anything else that I felt like someone speaking not only to me but to me. It expresses exactly how I feel about music, ”said Timberlake. Playboy in 2011.
The two singers also participated in an ASCAP stage conversation in 2010 and in 2017 Timberlake appeared alongside Withers at a Songwriters Hall of Fame event, as Timberlake alluded to in his Instagram post.
“And, knowing that you were really something special.” You made such a unique and warm light shine, ”continued Timberlake. “I admired you the same way I looked up at my Poppa … and he was my favorite human in the world. You have always been one of the greatest and will remain so forever. I will miss your jokes and I will never forget your advice on music … “How do you feel? This is the only question you need to answer. »»
Read the full Timberlake recollection below and watch footage of the conversation between the Withers’s Songwriters Hall of Fame and Timberlake: