Composer, Producer, Singer and pianist Patrice Rushen in the early 1980s, photographed by Bobby Holland. A child prodigy and classically trained pianist, the 1976 University of Southern California graduate is best known for her hit songs (all of which she wrote or co-wrote) “Forget Me Nots” “Haven’t You Heard,” and “Remind Me” and yes, her beautiful headful of braids! All of these songs and many others have been sampled countless times, most notably by Will Smith (“Men In Black”) and Mary J. Blige’s “You Remind Me”, which is based on “Remind Me.” According to her official website, Ms. Rushen receives about thirty requests every week to sample her music. Beyond her own stellar music career, Ms. Rushen has broken many barriers behind the scenes. She was the first woman to serve as Musical Director for the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the NAACP Image Awards and the People’s Choice Awards. She was also the Musical Director for Janet Jackson’s “janet.” Tour. Ms. Rushen has also composed many musical scores for film and television including “The Women of Brewster Place,” “Ruby Bridges,” and the theme song for “The Steve Harvey Show” (the sitcom, not his current talk show). Ms. Rushen has said that she has modeled her career after her friend and mentor Quincy Jones and she has recorded with him and many other musical legends like Prince, Minnie Riperton, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Carlos Santana and more. In 2005, she received an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston and in 2008, she accepted the newly created position of Ambassador for Artistry in Education at the school. Ms. Rushen is still composing and performing today and also works with several organizations that focus on music education programs for inner-city youth. Photo: Bobby Holland/Michael Ochs Archives.