Allee Willis, Grammy-Winning Songwriter Who Wrote ‘Friends’ Theme, Dies at 72

Willis also wrote the Earth, Wind & Fire hits “September” and “Boogie Wonderland”

Last Updated: December 25, 2019 @ 7:54 AM

Allee Willis, the songwriter perhaps best known for writing the theme song to the long-running sitcom “Friends,” died on Tuesday at age 72, according to her official Instagram page.

She died of cardiac arrest, according to Variety.

A 1985 Grammy winner and 2018 inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Willis produced an extensive body of hits that included multiple songs for Earth, Wind & Fire, including “September” and “Boogie Wonderland.”

Her other hits included the Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Dusty Springfield’s “What Have I Done to Deserve This?,” Patti LaBelle’s “Lead Me On,” and the theme from “The Karate Kid,” “You’re the Best.” She earned a Grammy in 1985 for her contributions to the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack album.

In 2006, Willis earned a Tony nomination for co-writing the original score to the Broadway musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” which she worked on with Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray.

She is survived by her partner, animator and producer Prudence Fenton, who paid tribute to Willis on her own Instagram page: “Rest In Boogie Wonderland Nov 10,1947-December 24, 2019”

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