Bill Withers, whose incredible catalog includes “Lean On Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Just the Two of Us,” passed away from heart complications at age 81 on March 30; he was also a Navy veteran, and will posthumously receive the Lone Sailor Award, according to a recent statement from the U.S. Navy Memorial.
According to Stars And Stripes, the award is given to sea service veterans who have excelled in their respective careers during or after their service. Other notable recipients include multiple U.S. presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, actors John Wayne and Bob Hope and sports legend Arnold Palmer.
Withers enlisted in the Navy in the mid-1950s at age 17 and served for nine years as an aircraft mechanic.
After leaving the Navy in 1965, he relocated to Los Angeles and started his music career. He won three Grammy Awards, was nominated for another four and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.