A post on her Instagram account announced the news with a spokesperson saying that they were “extremely shocked and devastated,” posting an article that says that on Christmas Eve Willis suffered a heart attack in Los Angeles.
Willis was a skilled music writer also behind hits including the Boogie Wonderland of Earth, Wind and Fire, the Neutron Dance of the Pointer Sisters, and You’re the Best-The Karate Kid’s theme.
Prudence Fenton, identified as her partner in the news, left a tribute on Instagram, saying:”Rest In Boogie Wonderland Nov 10,1947-December 24, 2019.”
Willis was shortlisted for an Emmy in 1995 to co-writing I’ll be there for you, a short Friends theme before it was expanded into a full song.
“I’m someone that absolutely loves writing very joyful music,”she said in 2008 to Songfacts.
She admitted in last year’s interview with the New York Times: “I, very thankfully, have a few songs that will not go away – but they’re schlepping along 900 others. I hear melodies constantly. I always say, ‘If you were to drop dead, I could write to the clunk of the body.’”
She was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018, an organization that honors the “legacies” of songwriters.
A group statement said a brother, Kent Willis, sister Marlin Frost, and niece, Mandy Becker, survived her.


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