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Allee Willis (born November 10, 1947) is an American songwriter, artist, set designer, multimedia artist, writer, collector, and director. Willis has won two Grammy Awards from three nominations. During 2018 she was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1][2]

Allee Willis
Birth nameAlta Sherral Willis
Born (1947-11-10) November 10, 1947 (ageĀ 71)
Occupation(s)Songwriter, multimedia artist, collector
Associated actsEarth, Wind & Fire


As a songwriter, Allee Willis is famous for her collaboration with Earth, Wind & Fire. She co-wrote hit songs for them such as "September," "Boogie Wonderland," and "In the Stone." Willis also composed hit singles for several other artists including "Neutron Dance" by the Pointer Sisters, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" by Pet Shop Boys featuring Dusty Springfield, and "I'll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts. "I'll Be There for You" was used as the theme song of the sitcom Friends, and went on to become one of the biggest television theme songs of all time.[3] During 1995 Willis was Emmy nominated for "I'll Be There for You."[4] She also co-wrote the Tony nominated, and Grammy-winning, Broadway musical, The Color Purple. A major motion picture based on the musical is currently being produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and Scott Sanders.[5]

On September 28, 2017 Willis premiered "The D", a passion project she wrote, recorded, and produced for her hometown of Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts.[6]


Grammy AwardsEdit

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Willis has won two Grammys from three nominations.[1]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1986 "Beverly Hills Cop" Best Soundtrack Album Background Score from a Motion Picture or Television Won
2006 "The Color Purple" Best Musical Show Album Nominated
2016 "The Color Purple" Best Musical Theatre Album Won

Tony AwardsEdit

Willis has also been nominated for a Tony Award.[7]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2006 Original Musical Score "Color Purple" Nominated

Emmy AwardsEdit

Willis has also been nominated for an Emmy Award.[4]

Year Category Nominated work Result
1995 Outstanding Individual Achievement in Main Title Theme Music "Friends" Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Allee Willis".
  2. ^ "Allee Willis".
  3. ^ "Allee Willis".
  4. ^ a b "Allee Willis".
  5. ^ "Spielberg, Oprah Bringing 'Color Purple' to Big Screen". Hollywood Reporter. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Thousands celebrate new Detroit anthem "The D" at the DIA". Oakland Press. September 28, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Allee Willis".

External linksEdit