R.I.P. "September" and "The Color Purple" songwriter Allee Willis

(December 25, 2019) Christmas is a day of joy for people around the world, but today we are taking a moment to mourn the sad passing of Allee Willis, the legendary, Grammy winning songwriter who helped shape the sound of popular music in the 1980s and 90s. She was 72. Willis helped write countless classic songs, including Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Maxine Nightingale’s “Lead Me On,” and the Broadway musical, “The Color Purple.”

For those of us in Detroit, Willis was simply one of us. Born and raised in Detroit, but a California transplant, she never forgot her hometown, visiting frequently and even creating a Detroit tribute project in 2017 simply called The D.

(December 25, 2019) Christmas is a day of joy for people around the world, but today we are taking a moment to mourn the sad passing of Allee Willis, the legendary, Grammy winning songwriter who helped shape the sound of popular music in the 1980s and 90s. She was 72. Willis helped write countless classic songs, including Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Maxine Nightingale’s “Lead Me On,” and the Broadway musical, “The Color Purple.”

For those of us in Detroit, Willis was simply one of us. Born and raised in Detroit, but a California transplant, she never forgot her hometown, visiting frequently and even creating a Detroit tribute project in 2017 simply called The D.

Willis won Grammy Awards for The Color Purple and her work on Beverly Hills Cop, and was nominated for an Emmy for the theme song from the television smash Friends, “I’ll Be There For You.” She was also elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame for her more than 1,000 songs.

Allee Willis was both a talent and an intentionally fun character who showed her love for life in everything she did. She will be greatly missed.

By Chris Rizik

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