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BMI Toasts ‘The Color Purple’

Posted in News on April 4, 2006
BMI hosted a champagne celebration honoring the composers of the music to the hit Broadway musical, The Color Purple. L.A.-based BMI composers Brenda Russell and Allee Willis, along with co-writer Stephen Bray, were joined by numerous friends and BMI executives at the home of Holly Brooks in Brentwood, Calif., to toast their success. The show has grossed $23 million in ticket sales since December 2005 and is slated for a Chicago run beginning April 7.

Celebrating at the party are (l-r) BMI's Linda Livingston, BMI composers Allee Willis and Brenda Russell, "Purple" co-writer Stephen Bray, and BMI's Barbara Cane and Phil Graham. Photo by Randall Michelson

Three-time Grammy nominee Brenda Russell, co-writer of Sting's Grammy-winning song "She Walks This Earth," has been working on The Color Purple for the past five years while also focusing on her own writing and touring. She is currently preparing her next CD release and will embark on a South American tour this summer.

Allee Willis (along with Bruce Roberts) is currently working on the music for VH1's new series, So NoTORIous, starring Tori Spelling, and is also writing six songs for the new Earth, Wind & Fire Broadway musical, Hot Feet, opening April 30. Willis is about to become one of only five writers to have two shows open on Broadway in one season and the only writer to have two African-American related shows on Broadway at the same time.