Willie D (born Willie James Dennis; November 1, 1966, Houston, Texas) is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, and advice columnist who gained fame as the lead member of the pioneering rap group from Houston, Geto Boys. He was convicted of wire fraud in 2009.
Willie took up boxing at the age of 11. Willie D was so good at boxing that in 1985, he became the Golden Gloves Champion for the State of Texas. With a Golden Glove championship under his 17-year-old belt it looked like Willie D was well on his way to becoming a professional boxer, but Willie D was captivated by rap music and set his sights on becoming an MC. He attended Forest Brook High School but in 1986, two months prior to his scheduled graduation, he was expelled for fighting. He never returned to school.
His reputation reached J Prince, founder of Rap-A-Lot Records. At the time Prince was looking to revamp the now legendary Geto Boys and knew that Willie D would be a key factor in the group’s success. Once Willie D was on board, Bushwick Bill and Scarface were added to complete the group.
Considered the classic line up, Willie D, Bushwick Bill, and Scarface first emerged as the Geto Boys in 1989 with their Gold record, "Grip It! On That Other Level." The record contained the songs "Gangsta of Love," "Do It Like a G.O.," "Size Ain’t Shit," and "Read These Nikes," all penned by Willie D. Willie went on to record a string of critical and commercially successful solo and group albums including the Geto Boys’ "We Can't Be Stopped" (platinum), which featured the single "Mind Playing Tricks on Me," co-written by Willie D.
In 2009 Willie D was featured on a song called "Down South Hustlaz", along with Young Buck, Trae, Bun B, and Rick Ross. He is currently in the studio with Z-Ro recording a new CD presently untitled.
Willie D's mother, Marvelous Ann Dennis (died February 14, 1994) was born in Houston, Texas. She was a cafeteria cook for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for several years. His father, Alfred Deboest (died May 17, 1998), was from Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was a carpenter and construction worker by trade.
Willie D was raised by his mother in Houston after his parents separated when he was four-years old. He has stated in interviews that both his parents were alcoholics and that his mother was physically and verbally abusive. Although he rarely saw his dad while growing up, when it was discovered that his father had lung cancer, Willie D took him in to live with him before he succumbed to the disease. Furthermore, despite a troubled relationship with his mother, in 1991 he took his first large paycheck from his music royalties and purchased a four-bedroom house for her while he was still living in an apartment.
On September 3, 1994 he married Bridget Bonier who is a mechanical engineer, in a private ceremony on a yacht in Clear Lake, Texas. They have two children. They were divorced in 2010. Willie D has four siblings or half-siblings.
On July 10, 2013, Willie D launched an international logo and design contest for his new fashion line, Deboest. The competition gives fans who are aspiring designers a chance to create the company logo and first T-shirt designs. Willie D says of the venture, “This is something I've wanted to do for a long time so it’s a beautiful thing to see it come to fruition. I’ve always been an admirer of fashion. No other art form coexists with music more.