She is a classically trained pianist who originally found success in the ‘70s and ‘80s with her signature fusion of jazz, pop and R&B. During this era, she composed and recorded the hit song, “Forget Me Nots,” which has been frequently covered and sampled by other artists. She has been the first female musical director for many of the entertainment industry’s top award shows, which include the Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards and HBO’s Comic Relief V.
Considered one of the world’s top jazz pianists, she has performed with esteemed artists like Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Nancy Wilson, Ndugu Chancler, Carlos Santana, Christian McBride and Lee Ritenour. She is a record producer and an award-winning composer of symphonic music, some of which was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Rushen is the Ambassador of Artistry In Education at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and is the Chair of the Popular Music Program at USC’s Thornton School of Music.
Rushen also spends time working with the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, NARAS’ Grammy In The Schools program and other organizations dedicated to establishing music education and mentorship programs for underprivileged youth.