Allee Willis, the songwriter who earned fame for her work with Earth, Wind & Fire, has passed away at the age of 72.
Willis, who famously wrote the popular ‘I’ll Be There For You’ song for sitcom Friends, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Willis, who also co-wrote hit songs such as ‘September’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018. Being a two-time Grammy winner, Willis always attempted to triumph uplifting music throughout her career. “I’m someone that absolutely loves writing very joyful music,” she previously told Songfacts as part of an interview in 2008. “And with everything else I’ve ever written, [“September” is] still that song that when people found out I’d written that, they just go, ‘Oh my God,’ and then tell me in some form how happy that song makes them every time they hear it. For me, that’s it.
She added: “I literally have never been to a wedding, a bar mitzvah, anything, where I have not heard that song play. So I know it’s carrying on and doing what it was meant to do.
“I would say the main lesson I learned from Earth, Wind & Fire, especially Maurice White, was never let a lyric get in the way of a groove.”
Willis survived by a brother, Kent Willis, and sister, Marlin Frost.