Vintage Vamp: Patrice Rushen

Comments
rushen_article.jpg
If you were at all conscious in the early '80s, you wanted Patrice Rushen's disco-tastic waterfall of brilliantly beaded braids. The California-born R&B and jazz vocalist was famous for chart-topping dance classics like "Forget Me Nots" and "Remind Me," but her trendsetting hairstyle was iconic on its own! Rushen got her start as an session pianist in the early 1970s, but soon broke out as successful solo artist. Even when her jazz and funk-influenced brand of R&B fell out of favor, Rushen continued to have a fascinating career. She was the first woman to become the musical director for the Grammy, Emmy, and NAACP Image Awards, and she held the honor for twelve years! Plus, her songs have some of the most sampled in music history (the addictive "Forget Me Nots" bassline was all over Will Smith's "Men in Black" and George Michael's "Fastlove"). In 2008, Rushen became a professor at the Berklee College of Music. No doubt the Grammy winner's syllabus is fascinating, but we think she also needs to teach a course on how to copy her coveted cornrows! Patrice, we salute you and your hair...

Related Stories: