Allee Willis, Writer of Friends Theme Song Dies at 72

Allee Willis, a Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated songwriter who helped compose the theme song for the sitcom Friends, has died aged 72

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Allee Willis, Emmy-nominated and Grammy-winning songwriter behind the song that became the iconic theme song for NBC’s Friends, “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts, as well as the Earth, Wind & Fire classic “Boogie Wonderland,” died on December 24, Christmas Eve. According to Deadline, Willis’ passing was announced by her long-term partner Prudence Fenton in an Instagram post.

“Rest In Boogie Wonderland Nov 10, 1947-December 24, 2019,” the post read. It accompanied a photo of Willis standing in front of a Motown landmark. You can check the post out below.

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In addition to “I’ll Be There for You” which earned Willis an Emmy nomination, and “Boogie Wonderland,” Willis also co-wrote Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack and the Broadway musical The Color Purple. Both of those projects earned Willis a Grammy award. Over the course of her career, Willis’ compositions sold over 60 million records.

“I, very thankfully, have a few songs that will not go away,” she told The Times in 2018, “but they’re schlepping along 900 others.”

Willis grew up in Detroit and was raised on the sounds of Motown, though she never learned to play music. She attributes her love for music to visiting Motown studios every weekend while growing up.

“I would sit on the lawn,” she told The Times. “You could watch everyone come in. But most importantly you could hear through the walls, which is how I became a songwriter.”

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