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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Allee Willis
November 10, 1947 - December 24, 2019
Service Information Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills - TaNaCH Chapel
Service Date: Thursday December 26th, 2019
Service Time: 3:00 pm
Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills - TaNaCH Chapel
5950 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, California 90068
Allee Willis Obituary
November 10th 1947 – December 24, 2019
Allee Willis, born on November 10th 1947 in Detroit, Michigan was a world renowned creative multi-disciplinary artist and visionary thinker whose imagination and productivity knew no bounds. Inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame in 2018, this Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Webby award winning and nominated artist had been celebrated in the press for more than 40 years. Allee’s incredibly prolific talents were unmatched… not only as a visual and social artist, but as a painter, director, world’s largest pop and soul kitsch collector, and a raucously hysterical funny one-woman stand-up comedian and performance artist. Yet with all of her accolades, Allee Willis was most proud to be recognized for her extreme, over-the-top party throwing at her famously kitchsy Pink Streamline Moderne house known as “Willis Wonderland” in Los Angeles, California.
Allee Willis will go down in history as one of the greatest songwriters of both the 20th and 21st centuries, co-writing some of the biggest hits in popular culture. Her first smash was Earth Wind & Fire’s 1978 Stone Cold hit “September” followed by EWF’s “Boogie Wonderland,” Maxine Nightingale’s “Lead Me On,” The Pointer Sisters “Neutron Dance,” Patti LaBelle’s “Stir It Up,” Pet Shop Boys “What Have I Done To Deserve This,” the Theme from the Karate Kid “You’re The Best” and what may be considered the most famous TV theme song of all time,Friends “I’ll Be There for You.”
Allee gave up on being a songwriter many times throughout her career; once she decided to become a painter and sold 1000 paintings before she realized she could mix colors to get other colors. Another time, when she discovered this thing called the ‘Internet’, Allee and her partner Prudence Fenton started working on an idea they called a “Social Network” (long before anything like that existed) which they dubbed “Willisville.”
Allee has never stopped working… she co-wrote alongside her dear friends Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray the Tony Award Winning “The Color Purple” musical. Big Sean, the native Detroit rapper, was making music with Allee at her house for past few months, co-writing alongside his fellow Detroit lovin’ music maker who he met at Motown’s 60th Anniversary. And Willis Wonderland was recently featured as a backdrop to Variety’s Billie Eilish Cover Story.
Allee Willis has been featured this year in the Motown Museum as one of 6 Icons who have been influenced by the storied label. She is placed in between Oprah Winfrey and Nelson Mandela.
She is survived by her partner of 27 years, Prudence Fenton. Prudence is “in total shock.”
Preceded in death by parents Rose Shulman Willis and Nathan Willis, brother-in-law Murray Frost.
Survived by brother and sister-in-law Kent and Barbara Willis of Detroit, sister Marlen Frost of Omaha. Nephews and nieces, Michael Frost and Shelley Sperry of Alexandria, VA; Mandy and Donald Becker of Omaha; Marcy Frost and Mark Ratner of Minneapolis, Randall and Dorit Willis of NY, Lara Witherspoon of Detroit. Great nephews and nieces Joseph Kreisman and Allison Wolf, Thomas Kreisman, Mari Frost, Hunter Willis, Liam Witherspoon and Logan Witherspoon.
Time of death 6:05pm LA time at an hospital of a cardiac event – chief of staff J. Nathan Rubin M.D.