Bill Withers Earns First Pair of RIAA Platinum Certifications

Soul icon Bill Withers has achieved new certifications from the RIAA for “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lovely Day.” 

The late singer-songwriter’s iconic debut single, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” is now certified 4x platinum.

The 1971 classic has sold over four million equivalent units, making it Wither’s best-selling single to date. 

The self-penned track from his debut album, Just As I Am (1971), was first certified gold in September 1971, selling 500,000 copies at the time. 

“Ain’t No Sunshine,” produced by Booker T. Jones, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The mellow ballad won Best Rhythm & Blues Song at the 14th Grammy Awards in 1972. In 1999, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

In an interview with Rock Cellar, Withers explained the inspiration behind “Ain’t No Sunshine.” He recalled, “I was watching a movie called The Days Of Wine And Roses with Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon.

They were both battling alcoholism. And at one point, one of them would be up, and one of them would be down. They kept leaving each other. Then I looked out of the window, and probably a bird ate a peanut, and that just crossed my mind (laughs).”

Withers added, “The song was written pretty quickly. It’s a very short song, anyway. It has no introduction.

At the time of publication, “Ain’t No Sunshine” has 949.5 million streams on Spotify and is Withers’ most-streamed track on that platform.

Earlier this year, “Ain’t No Sunshine” was inducted into the Library of Congress‘ National Recording Registry, which they deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Columbia Records

Withers’ optimistic track “Lovely Day,” from 1977’s Menagerie, has been certified double platinum by the RIAA.

The feel-good tune, co-written by Withers and Skip Scarborough, has sold over two million equivalent units. It is now the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer‘s second best-selling single to date. 

In 2023, “Lovely Day” was adapted into a children’s picture book “that shows readers every day is a lovely day when you’re with the ones you love.” (“Grandma’s Hands” from Just As I Am also inspired a picture book.)

At the time of publication, “Lovely Day” has 689.8 million streams on Spotify. It’s Withers’ second-most streamed song on the platform. 

Bill Withers passed away March 30, 2020. He was 81.

Revisit “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers below.

“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers

“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers