Chris Willis

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Chris Willis
Chris Willis.jpg
Background information
Birth name Christopher Willis
Born (1969-02-26) February 26, 1969 (age 49)
Dayton, Ohio, United States
Genres House, EDM, gospel, R&B, pop electronica, Eurodance
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, record producer, vocal producer
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts David Guetta,Hook N Sling , NERVO, Joachim Garraud, Trevor Simpson,Rave Radio

Christopher "Chris" Willis (born February 26, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and producer.[1] 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) and "Gettin' Over You."[2][3]


Originally a gospel singer, 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".[4] His first job after college in Alabama was touring with a group that sang hundreds of shows in churches over a two-year period.[5] In the mid-1990s, he toured as backup vocalist for Twila Paris.[6] In 1996, he released his debut self-titled album, for which he wrote or co-wrote eight of the eleven songs,[7] and earned a nomination for Best R&B Album at the 1996 Nashville Music Awards.[8] That year, he opened on tour for Mark Lowry,[9] and was one of several featured singers in the musical showcase Emmanuel, a national tour put together by Nashville producer Norman Miller.[10] The tour spawned an album, which won a GMA Dove Award in 1998 for Special Event Album of the Year.[11] He did mostly gospel until 1998 when he signed with a small music label.[5] The label was bought out by a large corporation and Willis took that as a cue to move on.[5] During this time he also worked to resolve the "angst" from being closeted about his sexuality, "I always felt like God really understood—but that wasn't the message I was receiving in the church.[12] 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."[5] 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."[5] However, on June 2, 2014 Willis married his best friend of 25 years Jacqueline Leiske.[13]

In 2000 he was working with the French boys 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.[1] Guetta invited Willis to the studio and the next day they wrote 'Just a Little More Love.'[1] Willis co-wrote and provided most of the vocals on Guetta's debut album Just a Little More Love, including the hit title track.[14]

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.[15] Throughout 2009 he toured with David Guetta through Europe in support of One Love. He has also been doing solo European dates.[16] In November 2009 he performed at Danceclub C4 in Steyer, Austria for their 2nd Anniversary Party.[17] 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.[18]

His solo single "Louder (Put Your Hands Up)" was released on October 12, 2010.[19] Willis co-wrote the song with Cutfather and Jonas Jeberg.[20][21] The video premiered on DailyMotion October 26, 2010.[22] Shot in Los Angeles, the video was directed by Billie Woodruff. The video now has nearly 2 million views on his YouTube page.[23] The song reached number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs on the issue dated January 8, 2011.[24]

His second single "Too Much In Love" was released digitally August 16, 2011.[25] 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.[26] Many remixes have been created and released on iTunes.[27]

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 [28]

Willis performing in 2009.


Studio albums

  • Chris Willis[29] (1996)
  • Premium - Songs from the Love Ship, Vol. 1 (2011)


As lead artist

Title Year Peak position Certifications Album
"My Freedom"[30] 2006
Non-album single
"Out of My Hands"
Chris Willis
"Tomorrow Can Wait"
(with David Guetta and Tocadisco)
2008 19 7 21 43 84
Pop Life
"Everytime We Touch"
(with David Guetta, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso)
2009 43 19 97 68
"Gettin' Over You"
(with David Guetta, featuring Fergie and LMFAO)
2010 31 1 5 12 1 3 21 28 11 1
One More Love
"Louder (Put Your Hands Up)" 1 27
Premium - Songs from the Love Ship, Vol. 1
"Too Much in Love" 2011 4

As featured artist

Title Year Peak position Certifications Album
(Billyweb featuring Chris Willis)
Non-album single
"Just a Little More Love"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
42 29 38 59 19
Just a Little More Love
"Love Don't Let Me Go"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
2002 7 4 19 13 46
"People Come People Go"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
47 42 54
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis and Moné)
2004 52 63 52
Guetta Blaster
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
19 18 82 78
"Love Is Gone"
(David Guetta featuring Chris Willis)
2007 98 9 3 14 9 11 9
Pop Life
"Give It All You Got"
(Ultra Naté featuring Chris Willis)
Grime, Silk, & Thunder
"My DJ Rock Superstar"
(Nicola Fasano featuring Chris Willis)
Non-album singles
"Party 2 Daylight"
(Global Deejays featuring Chris Willis)
(Hook N Sling featuring Chris Willis)
"This Is Your Life"
(Psyko Punkz and MC Lyte featuring Chris Willis)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Celebrity City Guide: Chris Willis PlanetOut, September 11, 2009.
  4. Stark, Judy (November 26, 1993). "Our Annual Holiday CD Roundup Series". St. Petersburg Times. p. 18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Chris Willis: He has the music in him Mikey Rox, Windy City Times, August 6, 2008.
  6. Bialczak, Mark (April 4, 1995). "For the love of God: Twila Paris' Christian music electrifies crowd". The Post-Standard. p. C4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Hytche, C. J. (September 21, 1996). "Chris Willis". Houston Chronicle. p. 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Gray, Michael (November 12, 1996). "Nashville Music Awards taps eclectic collection". Nashville Banner. p. A1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Price, Deborah Evans (September 14, 1996). "Higher ground". Billboard. 108 (37): 46.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Hogan, Susan (December 1, 1996). "Emmanuel: A seasonal showcase for Christian singers". Star Tribune. p. F1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Dove list". The Times-Picayune. April 25, 1998. p. B4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Mikey Rox, "Chris Willis Interview: Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?", Gay & Lesbian Times [1], August 7, 2008, issue 1076.
  13. "Big Shot Rewind: 219 DJs and Artists Look Back on 2014". Big Shot Magazine.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Paoletta, Michael (February 7, 2004). "Beat Box". Billboard. 116 (6): 33.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Chris Willis".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Stefan Bosnjakovic. " - Photos: Chris Willis live on stage, Danceclub C4 / Ternberg".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. A teaser is available on YouTube [2]
  19. "Louder (Put Your Hands Up) - EP". iTunes.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "GEMA - Members - Online Database - Musical Works" (in German). GEMA. Retrieved July 13, 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Cooke, Buck (January 5, 2011). "We like it when Chris Willis gets 'Louder'". Project Q Atlanta. Retrieved February 1, 2011. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. INgrooves. "Chris Willis - Louder (Put Your Hands Up) - Video Dailymotion". Dailymotion.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Chris Willis - Louder (Put Your Hands Up) [Radio Edit]. YouTube. October 28, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Dance/Club Play Songs Chart at for the Week of January 8, 2011 [3]
  25. "Too Much In Love - Single". iTunes.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Chris Willis - Too Much In Love (Official Video). YouTube. January 10, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Too Much In Love Remixes". iTunes.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Premium - Songs from the Love Ship, Vol. 1". iTunes.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Chris Willis album in Allmusic
  30. iTunes Music
  31. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 15, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Gold—/Platin-Datenbank (David Guetta)". Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved December 5, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Certifications Singles Or – année 2002" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved January 18, 2013. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2002". Ultratop & Hung Medien / Retrieved January 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Certifications Singles Argent – année 2007" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved January 18, 2013. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (David Guetta)". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 18, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>