Aidin Vaziri | Rumer Willis talks in the reserved, clipped tones of someone who has spent her entire life dodging the paparazzi. But when the 27-year-old daughter of Hollywood royalty Bruce Willis and Demi Moore sings — and who knew she could sing? — she really opens up, lending her unexpectedly rich voice to songs made famous by larger-than-life stars such as Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse. Willis, who won the 20th season of “Dancing With the Stars” and played Roxie Hart in the Broadway revival of “Chicago,” brings her cabaret act to Feinstein’s at the Nikko this week. She spoke to us from her home in Los Angeles.
Q: Why did it take so long to get you singing on a stage?
A: I was focusing on acting and just busy with a lot of other stuff. I wanted to go about it the right way. There’s a stigma with people who act or who are children of actors. I wanted to make sure when I did something it came from a place of integrity.
Q: Was it something you always wanted to do?
A: I have always sung, since I was little. I just never put it out there because I wanted to find the right way to go about it. My dad has been such a huge music lover. Growing up, he would always play us cool and interesting music. My taste came from him. My sisters and I used to put shows together and sing in the living room.
Q: So are people coming to the shows because they recognize your name or because they’ve heard you sing and want to hear more?
A: Who knows? For me, as long as I can get people to listen, that’s the only thing that matters to me.