We’ve often sang our hearts out to the ‘Friends’ anthem, ‘I’ll Be There For You’, and despite a little bit of fumbling with the verses, the song’s chorus is one that will stay with us for a long, long time.
But today, all those ‘Friends’ fans out there, and other musicians, are mourning the master-mind behind this theme song, Allee Willis. She passed away just yesterday, on Christmas Eve. Willis suffered a cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, and her sudden death left her partner, Prudence Fenton, in “total shock,” according to sources. Willis has always been known for her colourful personality and brilliant song-writing ability.
In fact, ‘I’ll Be There For You’ isn’t the only track crafted by her, she’s also written numerous songs for the band ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’. She opened up about her love for the band in an interview, where she mentioned, “Earth, Wind & Fire was my favorite group in the world. On one night, the phone rang, and it was Maurice White and it was an amazing conversation. He said, ‘Do you want to write the next Earth, Wind & Fire album with me?’ I went to the studio, and we started working on ‘September’ the very first day. What rhymes with ‘September’? ‘Remember’!,”
Being such a prolific song-writer, Willis, has managed to sell more than 60 million copies of her songs, worldwide. She’s also won two Grammys, one for her contributions to the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, and another for her score to the Broadway musical, ‘The Color Purple’. And finally, just last year, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 1995, she worked on her most well known song, ‘I’ll Be There for You’ by the Rembrandts. She co-wrote it with the show’s creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, and once described it as “the whitest song I ever wrote”. It was later expanded into a full hit single with additional songwriting from the Rembrandts.
Perhaps, Willis left a bit of herself in the song, in the form of a simple message, to just be there for one another.