As she recently did for Tupac Shakur, Jhené Aiko has decided to pay tribute to soul icon Bill Withers on the occasion of his 77th birthday. The R&B singer, dressed-down in a loose blue tunic, performed a tender medley of "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lovely Day," two of Wither's greatest hits, in what appears to be a home office. Super casual, just as she believes it should be. "One of the things that inspires me the most about Bill is his attention to lyrics and storytelling," she explained in a note about the project emailed to The FADER. "It wasn't about his image, being flashy, or putting on a 'show.' For him, it was about the song. No fluff, just pure feeling. It was about connecting. It was about the music. And it is still about the music."
"I’m getting older and I realize that I am just a compilation of all the great creators who came before me," she added. "Not only is it my duty, but it is also my pleasure to show my appreciation." Listen above and below, and scroll down to read Aiko's note in full.
Jhené's full message:
"Last month, I paid homage to one of my favorite artists of all time, Tupac Shakur. Along with an amazing talk about Tupac’s importance with Rob Markman of MTV, TOCK and I recreated some of Tupac's most iconic pictures. Though people had both negative and positive things to say about my photoshoot, the pictures weren’t taken to garner opinions. The pictures were my way of paying tribute and giving thanks to an artist that continues to inspire me and so many others. (Of course, if you read the article or listened to the interview you already knew that ;) )
We live in a day and age where young people don’t have much patience. No patience to read anything longer than 140 characters. No patience to research. No patience to study the history of the art they want so desperately to be apart of. Not only is there a lack of patience, but a lack of respect. There’s not a lot of respect being given to the true artists that came before us. Everyone is so hell bent on being THE best that no one is taking the time to honor the individuals who have influenced us.
Well, I’m getting older and I realize that I am just a compilation of all the great creators who came before me. Not only is it my duty, but it is also my pleasure to show my appreciation.
This month, for his 77th birthday (July 4), TOCK and I want to pay homage to Bill Withers. Bill Withers' music has been blessing my ears since I was a baby. I didn’t know it then and not until recently did I understand that this man is responsible for some of the most beautiful, relatable, heart felt songs ever written. Bill is not only a genius songwriter, but he is an amazing singer and musician. The more research I do on Bill, the more I love him. Bill didn't start creating music until he was in his 30’s, proving that there is no limit to what you are capable of. One of the things that inspires me the most about Bill is his attention to lyrics and storytelling. It wasn't about his image, being flashy, or putting on a “show". For him, it was about the song. No fluff, just pure feeling. It was about connecting. It was about the music. And it is still about the music.
Thank you Bill Withers for being so authentic. You are a true inspiration. Happy Birthday!!"