Wesley Willis

American singer-songwriter

Wesley Willis (May 31, 1963 – August 21, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter and visual artist from Chicago.

Wesley Willis
Wesley Willis.jpg
Willis in October 2000
Background information
Birth nameWesley Lawrence Willis
Born(1963-05-31)May 31, 1963
OriginChicago, Illinois
DiedAugust 21, 2003(2003-08-21) (aged 40)
Skokie, Illinois
GenresOutsider music, electronic, punk rock, alternative
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards
Years active1976–2003 (as artist)
1989–2003 (as musician)
LabelsAlternative Tentacles, American Recordings
Associated actsWesley Willis Fiasco
Monster Voodoo Machine
WebsiteWesley Willis on Alternative Tentacles

Willis began a career as an underground singer-songwriter in the outsider music tradition, with songs featuring his bizarre, humorous and often obscene lyrics sung over the auto accompaniment feature on his Technics KN electronic keyboard.[1][2][3]

On August 21, 2003, Willis died due to complications from chronic myelogenous leukemia in Skokie, Illinois. He was 40 years old.


  1. "Wesley Willis's Joy Rides · Wesley Willis Bio". Wesleywillissjoyrides.com. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  2. "Bands". Alternative Tentacles. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  3. "Say Rah! Discussing the Daddy of Rock n' Roll with the Directors of "Wesley Willis's Joy Rides"". Y Marks the Spot. 2010-07-31. Retrieved 2013-11-21.

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