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Guest: Allee Willis "The Life & Career of Allee Willis"
Streaming Broadcast: May 17, 2012 (Original Broadcast June 2010)
Allee Willis is a one-woman creative think-tank. A multi-disciplinary
artist and visionary thinker whose range of imagination and productivity knows no bounds, her success exuberantly defies categorization-'unique'
pales as a descriptor. Willis is a GRAMMY®, Emmy, Tony and Webbie award-winning and nominated songwriter, artist, multimediaist,
director, collector, and party thrower whose hit songs-including Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" and "Boogie
Wonderland," The Pointer Sisters' "Neutron Dance," Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield's "What Have I
Done To Deserve This," and The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You (Theme From Friends)"-have sold more than
50 million records.
The Color Purple - Fantasia
Willis' first musical, the Oprah Winfrey-produced The
Color Purple, written with Brenda Russell, Stephen Bray and Marsha Norman, opened on Broadway in December '05 and ran for
two-and-a-half years, recouping in less than a year, a rare accomplishment for any musical. The first National Tour launched
in Chicago in 2007 and ran through spring 2010. Immediately following the tour's finale, Willis (along with Russell
and Bray) produced Fantasia-who starred in the musical as Celie-recording "I'm Here" with a live 40-piece orchestra.
The song will be featured on Fantasia's latest CD. The second National Tour of The Color Purple is already underway,
and productions in London and Brazil are launching later in 2010.
Currently, Willis is writing, singing and recording songs
with Pomplamoose, the music duo that has become a YouTube sensation, with over 20 million views. Willis and Pomplamoose
will release an EP together this summer. Willis also continues to expand The Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch at AWMoK.com,
a social network with galleries, art, music, video and live events. Originally launched in late 2009, it features Willis'
world's largest collection of Kitsch artifacts as seen on her wildly popular "Kitsch O' The Day" blog as well
as submissions made by visitors to the site. AWMoK.com promotes a vibrant and unique form of social interaction,
inviting like-minded "aKitschionados" to upload images and descriptions of their own prized Kitsch to the "Kitschenette,"
which Willis personally curates, adding the cream of the kitschy crop to The Museum's permanent collection. The site also
features Willis' "What Is Kitsch?" film series as well as her animated "Pigmy Will" shorts,
created in collaboration with GRAMMY and Emmy-winning artist Prudence Fenton.
Allee Willis Presents Bubbles & Cheesecake "I
Allee Willis Presents Bubbles & Cheesecake "It's
a Woman Thang"
Willis is an internationally shown visual artist as
well, and her paintings, ceramics, motorized sculptures and furniture are widely collected.
Willis' first solo gallery exhibition, 1985's Wear The Right Clothes Even At Home, featured kinetic sculptures, many
named after her hit songs, including "Neutron Dance" and "Boogie Wonderland." Her expansive vision further
extends to art direction, set design, and animation. Many of the more than 2,000 pieces of art Willis has sold were done
in tandem with her fearless alter-ego, Bubbles the artist. Within months of Bubbles' first painting in 1999, it was rumored
in The New York Times that Willis actually was Bubbles the artist. In a feature on Willis, People Magazine once called
referred to her as artistic overdrive, "a multi-threat creativity that itself seems like a Godzilla out to conquer Lalaland."