Patrice Rushen (born Patrice Louise Rushen, September 30, 1954, Los
Angeles, California) is a Grammy Award-winning African American
R&B and jazz vocalist, composer and pianist.
Rushen is the elder of two daughters born to the late Allen Rushen
and the former Ruth Harris. She demonstrated her musical potential
at a young age; she was regarded as a child prodigy. In her teens,
she attended south LA's Locke High and went on to earn a degree in
music from the University of Southern California.
Rushen has many ground-breaking achievements. She became the first
woman to serve as head composer/musical director for the Grammy Awards
and the Emmy Awards, and the first woman to serve as musical director
for the NAACP Image Awards' broadcast, an honor she held for twelve
consecutive years. Additionally, Rushen has been the only woman to
be a musical director/composer for the People's Choice Awards, HBO's
Comic Relief and the only woman musical director/conductor/arranger
for a late-night television talk show, The Midnight Hour.
In addition, Rushen was named musical director/composer for Newsweek's
first American Achievement Awards, broadcast on CBS from the Kennedy
Center and she served as the musical director for Janet Jackson's
janet. World Tour.
In 2008, Rushen accepted a professorship at the Berklee College
of Music, in Boston. The course is "Patrice Rushen: The Value
of Music Education."
She also continues to play keyboards and has played in the touring
bands of Lee Ritenour and Wayne Shorter in recent years.
 Solo career
Rushen has also achieved great success as a singer. A classically
trained pianist, Rushen has spent a great deal of time channeling
her skills musically. Winning a competition at the 1972 Monterey
Jazz Festival gained Rushen national attention, which earned her
a recording contract with Prestige Records in 1973.
After recording three albums and becoming an in-demand session player,
with artists that included Jean-Luc Ponty, Rushen signed with Elektra
Records in 1978. Forging jazz/R&B/funk fusion, her signature
sound from the melding of these styles gave her success with a string
of Top Ten R&B hits, including "Haven't You Heard," "Forget
Me Nots," "Feels So Real," "Watch Out," "You
Remind Me," and "Never Gonna Give You Up" from her
first five solo albums (Patrice, Pizzazz, Posh, Straight From the
Heart, and Now). Rushen guested on Soul Train, where she performed
her single "I Need Your Love" in 1981. She also penned
the opening theme for The Steve Harvey Show. Her mentor and friend
is Quincy Jones. Rushen also plays multiple instruments including
the flute, clarinet and various kinds of percussion.
 Samples and covers
Her 1982 hit song "Forget Me Nots" has been sampled several
times. The most notable has been its inclusion as the driving musical
element in Will Smith's "Men In Black", the theme to the
1997 film of the same name. The song won a Grammy Award, which co-writers
Freddie Washington and Terry McFaddin also shared. Also in 1996, "Forget
Me Nots" was featured prominently in the bridge of George Michael's
#1 hit "Fastlove."
The 1998 hit "Strawberries" by female rapper Smooth samples "Where
There Is Love" from Rushen's 1982 album Straight From The Heart.
"Haven't You Heard" was sampled prominently into gospel
artist Kirk Franklin's 2005 hit "Looking For You," with
gospel lyrics written by Franklin. The song was also interpolated
into Zhane's early 1990s hit "Groove Thang."
Musiq Soulchild covered Rushen's "Settle For My Love",
as a duet with sibling group Aaries on 2000 debut album Aijuswanaseing.
"Remind Me" from her 1982 album, Straight from the Heart,
was sampled by 9th Wonder on the remix of "The Cross",
from the 9th Wonder remix album, God's Stepson.
On her 1995 debut album Faith (Faith Evans album), singer-songwriter
Faith Evans used a sample from "Remind Me" on the song "Fallin'
The 1995 single "Temperature's Rising" from Mobb Deep
sampled "Where There Is Love".
In 1994 Long Beach rapper Lil' ½ Dead released the album
The Dead Has Arisen. Track #2 "12 Pacofdoja" contained
a sample of "Where There Is Love", modified into the G-Funk
style of the era.
Rapper Danny! sampled "When I Found You" on Danny Is
Dead 's "Press Conference", "The Dream" on "Lucky
Me" from Dream, Extinguished, and "Yolon" from Dream,
Fulfilled 's "Le Pamplemousse".
On their final album Nuttin' But Love in 1994, Heavy D & The
Boyz sampled "You Remind Me" on their song "Take Your
In 1992, R. Kelly featuring group Public Announcement used a sample
of "Remind Me" for the song "Born into the 90's" from
Kelly's debut collaboration album of the same name.
Producer Clark Kent uses a sample of "Remind Me" for
the Junior M.A.F.I.A. song "I Need You Tonight" featuring
Sacramento rapper Brotha Lynch Hung sampled "Remind Me" on
his 1992 ep 24 Deep, for the track "Walkin 2 My Funeral".
The gangsta rap group RBL Posse also sampled "Remind Me" on
their 1992 album, A Lesson to Be Learned, on their track also titled "Remind
Intelligent Hoodlum sampled "Remind Me" on his 1993 single "Grand
Rapper Skee-Lo sampled "Remind Me" on his song "Top
Of The Stairs".
Keith Sweat's discovery group, Kut Klose used a sample on their
song "Keep On" on the 1995 acclaimed album, Surrender.
Rapper [Shyheim] sampled "Settle for my Love" on his
song Shaolin Style feat. Method Man
Swedish DJ Eric Prydz and Australian producer Daniel R Muller released
his single Pjanoo in 2008, which contains a piano riff inspired by
Rushen's "I Was Tired Of Being Alone"
ASCAP Songwriter's Award, 1988
USC Black Student Assembly, Legacy of Excellence Award, 1992
Crystal Award, American Women in Film, 1994
ASCAP Award, Most Performed Song in Motion Pictures for 1997 for "Men
in Black," 1998
Year Album Billboard 200 (Pop Albums) Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
(Black Albums) Top Jazz Albums (Jazz Albums) Top Contemp. Jazz
1975 Before the Dawn 48 14
1976 Shout It Out 164 16
Let There Be Funk: The Best Of Patrice Rushen 42
1978 Patrice 98 27 5
1979 Pizzazz 39 11 2
1980 Posh 71 23
1982 Straight from the Heart 14 4
1984 Now 40 7 7
1985 Anthology of Patrice Rushen
1987 Watch Out! 77 19 17
1990 The Meeting 17
1994 Anything but Ordinary
1996 Haven't You Heard - The Best of Patrice Rushen
1997 Signature 9
2002 The Essentials: Patrice Rushen
Year Title Chart Positions
Hot 100 U.S.
Dance UK Singles Chart
1979 "Hang It Up" - 16 - -
When I Found You" - 87 - -
1980 "Givin' It Up Is Givin' Up" - 47 - -
Haven't You Heard" 42 7 5 62
Let the Music Take Me" - 50 - -
Look Up" - 13 2 -
1981 "Never Gonna Give You Up (Won't Let You Be)" - - 2
1982 "Forget Me Nots" 23 4 2 8
Breakout!" - 46 - -
I Was Tired of Being Alone" - 79 - 39
1984 "Get Off (You Fascinate Me)" - 26 40 -
Feels So Real (Won't Let Go)" 78 2 10 51
1987 "Watch Out" - 9 22 -
Anything Can Happen" - 51 - -
1988 "Come Back to Me" - 65 37 -
Watch Out" - 9 - -
Burning Sands (2008) (pre-production)
For One Night (2006) (TV)
Just a Dream (2002)
Our America (2002) (TV)
Baby of the Family (2002)
Piano, Bass and Drums (2002 Aix Entertainmen), (DVD Audio)
The Killing Yard (2001) (TV)
Fire & Ice (2001) (TV)
Cora Unashamed (2000) (TV)
Ruby Bridges (1998) (TV)
America's Dream (1996) (TV)
A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom (1996) (TV)
The Steve Harvey Show (1996) TV Series (unknown episodes)
The Midnight Hour (1990) TV Series (unknown episodes)
Without You I'm Nothing (1990)
Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
George Michael: I'm Your Man - A South Bank Show Special (2006) (TV) (writer: "Fastlove")
Fahrenheit (2005) (VG) (performer: "Hang it Up")
Men in Black (1997) (writer: "Men In Black")
Waiting to Exhale (1995) (performer: "And I Gave My Love To You")
Big (1988) (writer/performer: "Forget Me Nots")
Dominick and Eugene (1988) (performer: "Somewhere")
TV in Black: The First Fifty Years (2004) (V) Herself
VH-1 Where Are They Now? Herself (One episode, 2002)
100 Greatest Dance Songs of Rock & Roll (2000) (mini) TV Series Herself
Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years (1998) (V) Herself (hostess)
The Best of Robert Townsend & His Partners in Crime (1991) (TV) Herself
Top of the Pops Herself (One episode, 1982)
Soul Train Herself (One episode, 1981)
 Musical directing
The 48th Annual Grammy Awards (2006) (TV) (musical director)
The 47th Annual Grammy Awards (2005) (TV) (musical director)
The 10th Annual Walk of Fame Honoring Smokey Robinson (2004) (TV) (musical
The 46th Annual Grammy Awards (2004) (TV) (musical director)
The 9th Annual Walk of Fame Honoring Aretha Franklin (2003) (TV) (musical director)
The 8th Annual Walk of Fame Honoring Stevie Wonder (2002) (TV) (musical director)
The Best of Robert Townsend & His Partners in Crime (1991) (TV) (musical
"No Strings" by "Sheena Easton"- Rushen as record producer.
The Women of Brewster Place (1989) (TV) (special musical consultant)
The Midnight Hour (1990) TV Series Herself (Musical Director) (unknown episodes,
Robert Townsend's HBO variety show series: "Partners in Crime" (1988)
(TV) (musical director)