Singer Kelly Willis

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on April 27, 2003

I understand country singer Kelly Willis is married to songwriter Bruce Robison. Does he write some of her songs? Kelly Willis is a great singer and I wonder why she's not better known.
—Stan, B, Oklahoma

Yes, there are a few Bruce Robison-penned songs on Kelly Willis's albums, though he didn't write them specifically for her. She chooses songs for her records from a number of different songwriters, and also writes some herself. "I just love Bruce's sad songs," she says. "One of these days I'll probably do a record that's all his." Willis, 34, was born in Lawton, Okla., and discovered her love and talent for music as a teenager. As a high school student in Virginia, she made her first recording, a version of Elvis Presley's Teddy Bear, at a make-your-own-record booth. That led to a stint in a rockabilly band and a move to Austin, Texas. Willis became a favored performer in Austin, and eventually signed with major Nashville label MCA. She had some success and great reviews with her three albums on the label. In the end, Nashville wasn't the right place for her. "It just didn't work, for a variety of reasons," she says. Willis and Robison live in Austin, and have one son and twins on the way.