Allee Willis, who co-wrote the theme tune for TV show Friends, has died at the age of 72.

A post on her Instagram account announced the news, with a note saying they were “extremely shocked and devastated”.

It shared an article saying Ms Willis died from a cardiac arrest in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.

The cast of Friends, clockwise from top left: Matt LeBlanc (Joey), David Schwimmer (Ross), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Courteney Cox (Monica), Matthew Perry (Chandler)
Image: The cast of Friends, clockwise from top left: Matt LeBlanc (Joey), David Schwimmer (Ross), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Courteney Cox (Monica), Matthew Perry (Chandler)

Prudence Fenton, described in reports as her partner, left a tribute on Instagram, saying: “Rest In Boogie Wonderland Nov 10,1947-December 24, 2019.”

She was an accomplished music writer behind hits including Earth, Wind and Fire’s Boogie Wonderland, the Pointer Sisters’ Neutron Dance, and You’re the best – the theme from The Karate Kid.

Willis was nominated for an Emmy in 1995 for co-writing I’ll be there for you – a short theme for Friends before it was expanded into a full song.

“I’m someone that absolutely loves writing very joyful music,” she told Songfacts in 2008.

More from Friends

In an interview with the New York Times last year, she acknowledged: “I, very thankfully, have a few songs that will not go away – but they’re schlepping along 900 others.”

“I hear melodies constantly. I always say, ‘If you were to drop dead, I could write to the clunk of the body.'”

Also in 2018 she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame – an organisation that honours songwriters’ “legacies”.

A statement from the group said she was survived by a brother, Kent Willis, sister, Marlin Frost, and niece, Mandy Becker.