The "Lean On Me" star passed away on Monday, March 30, 2020, aged 81, but news of his death didn't reach fans until Friday, when a family statement confirmed he'd died of heart complications.
Upon hearing the sad news, Justin was among the stars who headed online to honour the singer-songwriter, writing alongside a gallery of snaps of the star, "You will always be one of my biggest idols. You taught me so much about how to keep it simple and real. I felt such a kinship with you even before we met. Your words and melodies… the chords that accompanied them… they reached into my soul and spoke to me so deeply. That's what your music did."
He added, "It brought so many of us closer to you and to each other. And, to actually know you was truly something special. You shined a light that was so unique and warm."
"I looked up to you the same way I looked up to my Poppa… and he was my favorite human in the world. You have always been one of the greatest and will forever be," he continued. "I will miss your jokes and I will never forget your advice to me about music… 'How does it make you FEEL? That's the only question you have to answer.' "
The "Mirrors" star finished, "Rip Mr. Withers. One of a kind."