Allee Willis, a songwriter whose work included the Broadway musical “The Color Purple” as well as the theme song from the TV show “Friends” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” has died. She was 72.

(Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame )
(Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame )

The cause of death Tuesday was a cardiac event, her publicist, Ellyn Solis, told The New York Times.

Willis was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018 — more than 30 years after she won a Grammy for co-writing Patti LaBelle’s “Stir It Up” for the soundtrack of “Beverly Hills Cop.”

She was nominated for but did not win, Grammy and Tony awards for co-writing the music for “The Color Purple.”

Willis grew up in Detroit and was raised on the sounds of Motown, though she never learned to play music. She attributes her love for music to visiting Motown studios every weekend while growing up.

“I would sit on the lawn,” she told The Times. “You could watch everyone come in. But most importantly you could hear through the walls, which is how I became a songwriter.

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