Originally from Detroit, Willis earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and started her career in New York as a copywriter for Columbia and Epic labels. She was writing liner notes, as well as commercials for print media and radio, specialized primarily in label's female and African-American acts. In 1974, Allee Willis debuted with Childstar, a collection of ten songs released by Epic, and soon after she was recognized and employed as an author by Bonnie Raitt, Brenda & The Tabulations, and Carol Douglas. Her career really blossomed from the late seventies onward.
From 1986 to 1988, Willis was a columnist at Details Magazine where she published an interview with The Del Rubio Triplets, a novelty extravaganza trio of elderly twin sisters discovered by Allee a few years prior. Allee Willis directed several music videos for Debbie Harry, The Cars, Heart and other performers in 1987–91.
In 1991, Allee Willis became one of the first music artists to recognize and evangelize the Internet as an upcoming new form of mass entertainment following radio, television, and cinema. She came up with an idea of willisville, a visual collaborative network and interactive, story-driven online social world. Preceding modern social networks by at least a decade, willisville was supposed to combine traditional media, commerce, and virtual games by allowing Internet users to connect with each other to share ideas, collaborate, and exchange information. Mark Cuban (who later owned NBA team Dallas Mavericks and pioneered online streaming for sport events) became a CEO, while producer and multimedia artist Prudence Fenton (Grammy winner for Peter Gabriel's Steam video) joined Allee as one of the chief engineers and designers of the project. Several showbiz and tech giants, such as AOL, Microsoft, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., and Disney recognized a business potential of the concept, while Intel Corporation sponsored a creation of willisville prototype in 1995. The project turned out to be too innovative for the mid-nineties, though, and was abandoned several years later.
Allee Willis is also a renowned collector of kitsch/Atomic Era artifacts and art objects from the 1950-60s, and she opened a virtual Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch in 2009.
- 10 Vocals
- 4 Instruments & Performance
- 838 Writing & Arrangement
- 17 Production
- 1 Technical
- 4 Acting, Literary & Spoken
|Allee Willis||Childstar (Album)||Epic||US||1974||Sell This Version|
|IRVING 12||Allee Willis||Allee Willis (2xLP, Album, Smplr)||Irving Music, Inc.||IRVING 12||US||1980||Sell This Version|
Singles & EPs
|5-11110||Allee Willis||Childstar (7", Promo)||Epic||5-11110||US||1974||Sell This Version|
|20405-0 Y||Allee Willis And Pee Wee Herman||Allee Willis And Pee Wee Herman - Big Adventure (7", Single, Pic, Sha)||Warner Bros. Records||20405-0 Y||US||1985||Sell This Version|