Willis White

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Willis White, from Kansas City, Missouri, is an American actor and singer/songwriter. He has performed on Broadway, as well as in other theatrical, and in television productions.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

The son of a pastor, as a child White performed gospel songs in his father's church choir.[2]

Willis graduated in 2002 from Northwestern University, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a bachelor of music degree in vocal studies. While at Northwestern, Willis directed, arranged, and performed with the university's a cappella group, Melodious Thunk (now Thunk a capella).[3]

Career[edit]

In 2003, Willis joined the Broadway company of Hairspray,[4] and later performed as an original company member in the First National Tour company, appearing in several performances as Seaweed J. Stubbs.[5]

In 2005, White joined the musical group The Broadway Boys, with 30 singers and six active members performing Broadway standards to audiences outside the theater community to introduce them to music genres they may be unfamiliar with.[2]

In 2008, Willis returned to school by enrolling at UCLA's Law School, where he specialized in business and entertainment law. He wanted to "help fellow artists on how to negotiate a business deal," he told The Examiner.[2]

On Broadway, Willis has also appeared in the musicals The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and In the Heights.[1] He has also performed Off-Broadway in the musical Zanna Don't!.[1] Willis appeared in Julie Taymor’s film Across the Universe and lent his vocal talents to the platinum-selling soundtrack of the film Hairspray.[6] Also pursuing his legal aspirations, Willis received his Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law in 2012.[2]

On December 1, 2013, Willis performed the national anthem at Arrowhead Stadium before a sold-out hometown crowd of 77,065[7] awaiting the NFL AFC West Division matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.[8]

Willis debuted his digitally release single "Sharin the Love" on September 25, 2013.

Awards[edit]

During college, Willis won Best Soloist awards at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Midwest Quarterfinals and Semifinals.[9]

He was a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) Nominee for Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement for "Say My Name."[10]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Willis White's Theatre Credits". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dumsky, Brandon (November 5, 2013). "Homegrown Triple Threat". Missouri Examiner.
  3. "Melodious Thunk Finds Success on Spring Tour in London". The Daily Northwestern. March 28, 2001. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  4. Jones, Kenneth (July 22, 2003). "Hairspray National Tour Cast Announced; Vilanch Bows in Baltimore Sept. 9". Playbill.
  5. "Hairspray First National Tour 2003-2006". About the Artists. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  6. "Hairspray - Soundtrack To The Motion Picture". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  7. ."Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs - Box Score - December 01, 2013". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  8. "Game Day Activities: Chiefs vs. Broncos - Kansas City Chiefs". KCChiefs.com. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  9. "1998 ICCA". Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  10. "2001 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Nominees". CASA.org. Retrieved 2014-01-14.

External links[edit]


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