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Chris Willis
Chris Willis.jpg
Willis in 2008
Background information
Birth name Christopher Kevin Willis
Born (1969-02-26) February 26, 1969 (age 54)
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts

Christopher Kevin Willis (born February 26, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Although initially a gospel singer, he later received international attention for his collaborations with house music artist David Guetta, including the songs "Just a Little More Love", "Love Don't Let Me Go, "Love Is Gone", "Tomorrow Can Wait", "Everytime We Touch" (with Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso), "Would I Lie to You" (with Cedric Gervais) and "Gettin' Over You".

Biography

Originally a gospel singer, with the Heritage Singers and others, he was featured on the pop-classical album Handel's Messiah – A Soulful Celebration in 1993, singing a contemporary version of "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted". His first job after college in Alabama was touring with a group that sang hundreds of shows in churches over a two-year period. In the mid-1990s, he toured as backup vocalist for Twila Paris. In 1996, he released his debut self-titled album, for which he wrote or co-wrote eight of the eleven songs, and earned a nomination for Best R&B Album at the 1996 Nashville Music Awards. That year, he opened on tour for Mark Lowry, and was one of several featured singers in the musical showcase Emmanuel, a national tour put together by Nashville producer Norman Miller. The tour spawned an album, which won a GMA Dove Award in 1998 for Special Event Album of the Year. He did mostly gospel until 1998 when he signed with a small music label. The label was bought out by a large corporation and Willis took that as a cue to move on. ..... So, when I moved out on my own I really internalized that message that God makes us who we are and that it's up to us to embrace that or not. I chose to embrace all those things as freedom, and that freedom begat the freedom I experience now." He cites his internalized struggle as important to his transitioning out of gospel music. "I think there's this unspoken denial that you go through in gospel—maybe so in other musical art forms too—but I just felt for me it just wasn't easy to keep perpetuating that." On June 2, 2014, Willis married Jacqueline Leiske.

In 2000 he was working with the French boy band 2Be3 and when doing some publicity for their album in Paris one of the bandmates introduced him to house musician and producer David Guetta. Guetta invited Willis to the studio and the next day they wrote 'Just a Little More Love.' Willis co-wrote and provided most of the vocals on Guetta's debut album Just a Little More Love, including the hit title track.

His music genres have included gospel music, disco, pop rock, and R&B. Willis is active on social networks including MySpace, Facebook and recently Twitter. He often adds live photos and videos from his tours and answers questions from fans. Throughout 2009 he toured with David Guetta through Europe in support of One Love. He has also been doing solo European dates. In November 2009 he performed at Danceclub C4 in Steyer, Austria for their 2nd Anniversary Party. A documentary about him, Inside Out, directed by Robert Jason and Eric Miclette for Complete World Domination was released in early 2010 alongside the "Gettin' Over" single.

His solo single "Louder (Put Your Hands Up)" was released on October 12, 2010. Willis co-wrote the song with Cutfather and Jonas Jeberg. The video premiered on DailyMotion October 26, 2010. Shot in Los Angeles, the video was directed by Billie Woodruff. The video now has nearly 2 million views on his YouTube page. The song reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs on the issue dated January 8, 2011.

His second single "Too Much In Love" was released digitally August 16, 2011. The song features a guitar sample of Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way". A video was shot in Los Angeles and released on January 10, 2012. Many remixes have been created and released on iTunes.

An eight-song EP entitled "Premium – Songs From The Love Ship, Vol. 1" was released on November 29, 2011 and features several of his solo singles

ChrisWillis
Willis performing in 2009.

Discography

Studio albums

List of studio albums
Title Album details
Chris Willis
Premium: Songs From The Love Ship Vol. 1

Singles

As lead artist

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak position Certifications Album
US US
Dance
AUS BEL FRA ITA NLD SWE SWI UK
"Out of My Hands" 1996
Chris Willis
"He's Mine" 2004 Non-album singles
"My Freedom" 2006 25
"Tomorrow Can Wait"
(with David Guetta vs. Tocadisco)
2008 19 7 21 43 84
Pop Life
"Everytime We Touch"
(with David Guetta, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso)
2009 43 46 97 68
"Gettin' Over You"
(with David Guetta featuring Fergie and ...)
2010 31 1 5 12 1 3 31 28 11 1
  • ARIA: 2× Platinum
  • BPI: Platinum
  • BVMI: Gold
  • FIMI: Platinum
One More Love
"Louder (Put Your Hands Up)" 1 27 Premium - Songs from the Love Ship, Vol. 1
"Too Much in Love" 2011 4
"People (Feel the Love)"
(with OtherView)
2013 Non-album singles
"Survivor"
(with Ben DJ)
2014
"One Life"
"Lonely One"
(with Crazibiza)
2015
"No One Can Replace You"
(with Purple Aura featuring Akon)
"Don't Cry (Remember My Name)"
(with Joachim Garraud)
"Blood in my veins"
(The Vinyljackers (MikeNova))
2016
"Would I Lie to You"
(with David Guetta and Cedric Gervais)
2016 30 20 71 80 35
  • BVMI: Gold
"Warriors of the Night"
(with Colin Crooks and Rob Styles)
2020
"Warriors of the Night"
(with The Vinyljackers and MikeNova)
2020
"Not Afraid"
(with Marc Benjamin)
2021
"Work It Harder"
(with Zight and Maximals)
2022
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist

List of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak position Certifications Album
US US
Dance
AUS BEL FRA ITA NLD SWE SWI UK
"Supersonic"
(Billyweb featuring Chris Willis)
2001 Non-album single
"Just a Little More Love"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
29 29 80 59 19 Just a Little More Love
"Love Don't Let Me Go"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
2002 7 4 37 13 46
  • SNEP: Gold
  • BEA: Gold
"People Come People Go"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
47 42 54
"Money"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis and Moné)
2004 52 63 52 Guetta Blaster
"Stay"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
19 18 82 78
"Love Is Gone"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
2007 98 9 3 28 10 9 11 9
  • SNEP: Silver
  • IFPI SWI: Gold
Pop Life
"Give It All You Got"
(Ultra Naté featuring Chris Willis)
1
Grime, Silk, & Thunder
"My DJ Rock Superstar"
(Nicola Fasano featuring Chris Willis)
2012 Non-album singles
"Party 2 Daylight"
(Global Deejays featuring Chris Willis)
2013
"Magnet"
(Hook N Sling featuring Chris Willis)
"This Is Your Life"
(Psyko Punkz and MC Lyte featuring Chris Willis)
2014
"Turn Your Love Around"
(Cedric Gervais featuring Chris Willis)
2019
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Chris Willis para niños

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