Patrice Louise Rushen (born September 30, 1954) is an American jazz pianist and R&B singer. She is also a composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and music director. Her 1982 single, “Forget Me Nots”, received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
“Forget Me Nots” is a song co-written and performed by American R&B musician Patrice Rushen. The song appears on Rushen’s seventh album Straight from the Heart (1982). Making a radical shift in her music, Rushen would continue to harness the particular style of this record all through to her next album Now (1984). Originally deemed by record label executives as a “flop”, the song became a Top 40 pop (#23), Top 5 R&B (#4), and Top 5 dance (#2) hit on the Billboard charts and is the hit for which she is best known.
The single’s success culminated in Rushen scoring her first nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1983 Grammy Awards. Rushen had a number of songs on the R&B and Dance charts, but “Forget Me Nots” was her only US Top 40 pop hit and ranked #85 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 1980s in 2009.
The bassline is particularly recognizable, and was performed on the record by session bass player Freddie Washington. The classic tenor saxophone solo was played by Los Angeles session player and recording artist, Gerald Albright. Albright also appears in the music video of the song.
The lyrics are from the point of view of one professing her longing for a rekindling with an ex-lover. She ruminates on the romance’s end, and sends the lover forget-me-nots, a flower that since medieval times has been given and worn to symbolize enduring love despite absence or separation.