Did it start last year with a cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic" and her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in "Chicago”? Or did it begin two years ago with a weekly residency, singing at The Sayers Club in Hollywood? According to Rumer Willis, who has done all those things and more, she started singing about 28 years ago.
“Goodness,” Willis sighs from her L.A. home. “I feel like I’ve been singing since I came out of the womb. It’s just always been there. It’s just something I always did.” It’s five days before her first national tour begins and there’s no sign of nerves about stepping further into the world of being a singer.
“I’m more excited than nervous,” Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s oldest daughter says calmly. “I’m excited about coming to all the different cities and getting to meet all the people who come to the shows. It’s an interesting job I have,” she adds, “I’m lucky being able to do both acting and singing at the same time.”
Of course, she also dances too, and won Season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Amid all this, she’s managed to set aside time to begin recording her debut album with lauded music vet, producer Linda Perry.
“It’s still too early on in the process to tell how it will turn out,” Willis says. “It’s not even close to being done, but I would hope it comes out sometime in 2017.”
Along with playing covers — mostly jazz and pop standards — Willis will mix in some of her own songs into her set on what she’s calling her Over the Love Tour. But only those that fit her theme.
“I wanted the songs that felt like they spoke to the story that I wanted to tell. I want to tell a story of something that everybody struggles with and one that is not prejudiced, and doesn’t depend on where you work or where you live — and that story is love. We all experience it," she says. "We've all been broken hearted and then there is the other side of that. There are two sides of the coin that make up this story I want to tell.”
Being the storyteller means standing center stage, fronting her three-piece band. But Willis has handled the spotlight for some, well, 28 years.
“You can try and fight or hide away and you get nowhere,” she says of paparazzi glare. “You can’t have complete control over your life, but you can choose how much you let it effect you.”
Rumer Willis performs at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Oct. 19; the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Oct. 21; and at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Oct. 25.