I became explicitly aware of Bill Withers through working with Kevin Russell in Shinyribs. (We have covered two of his songs throughout the years. We just played one this past Saturday.) I had no doubt heard some of his material, but was not overtly familiar with him. He is still someone more on the periphery of my vision. Everyone in Shinyribs is older than me, so perhaps it is just an age thing. However, there is so much music in the world that is easy to let something, even something important on occasion, slip past you.
Anyway, the above Rolling Stone article is interesting if you are a fan or not. Apparently Withers is one of the few people who retired from the music business willingly at the top of their game. The article dives into why Withers made that decision, among other things.