HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, December 24, songwriter and director, Alta Sherral Willis (Allee Willis), 72, known for writing the “I’ll Be There For You,” theme song for the TV sitcom “Friends,” passed away in a Los Angeles hospital due to cardiac arrest. The news was announced by her long time partner Prudence Fenton via Instagram on December 25. 

“Rest in Boogie Wonderland Nov 10, 1947-December 24, 2019,” said Fenton in a photo via Instagram.

Fans and friends alike expressed their condolences via social media platforms

Willis created a successful songwriting career that spanned over 30 years, inspired by her love for Motown at a young age. She wrote songs and plays for many creators including the hits “September” and “Boggie Wonderland” for Earth, Wind & Fire. The songs were released in April 1979 and produced by Columbia Records. 

The star consistently contributed to a variety of projects during her career. She is listed as co-author for the play “The Color Purple,“ written by Alice Walker, but later adapted to film in 1985 by director Steven Spielberg. Willis also wrote “You’re The Best,” theme song for the 1984 film “The Karate Kid.”

In 2018, Willis was embedded into the Song Writers Hall of Fame. She was honored with several awards including a Grammy for co-writing Patti LaBelle’s hit “Stir It Up,” which was featured in the 1984 action flick “Beverly Hills Cop” starring comedian Eddie Murphy.