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Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen

Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen is a 1982 one hit wonderYou may not remember “Forget Me Nots” by Patrice Rushen from 1982. But if your ears were attached to your head and working properly in 1997, you definitely know the melody of “Forget Me Nots.”

That’s because “Forget Me Nots” is the basis of “Men in Black” by Will Smith.

Simply replace “Sending me forget me nots / I want you to remember” with “Here come the Men in Black / they won’t let you remember” in the chorus, maintain the music, the melody and the riffs and you have a formula for a Billboard top 10 hit.

For Will Smith and “Men in Black” that is.

“Forget Me Nots” by Patrice Rushen was popular yet only managed to reach #23 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1982, which transformed Patrice Rushen into a one-hit wonder for a song that rarely gets played today yet virtually everyone remembers.

Meantime, Will Smith’s “Men in Black” reached #2 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1997 and Smith won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1998.

Listen to Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen

Listen to Men in Black by Will Smith

The best part for the songwriters (Patrice Rushen and Terry McFadden): royalty checks for both versions. If you want a recipe for long-term financial success in the music business, write a song that gets covered again and again.

For instance, take “Last Kiss” that was first recorded by J. Frank and the Cavaliers, then covered by Wednesday in 1974, then covered again by Pearl Jam in 1999, in the process becoming that Seattle-based band’s biggest hit.

Alternatively, you can write a song with a catchy chorus and killer musical hook and let Will Smith turn it into a soundtrack hit.

Either way, you’ve done just fine.

As for Patrice Rushen, “Forget Me Nots” may have been her only Billboard Top 40 hit, but she did just fine in her music career, amassing Grammy award nominations and plenty of steady, impressive work. You can learn more about Patrice Rushen here.

Buy Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen

Buy Men in Black by Will Smith

Forget Me Nots & Other Hits - Patrice Rushen

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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4 Responses to "Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen"

  1. Soulhead 1981 says:

    Patrice Rushen is a classically trained musician and has been making the most wonderfull jazz-funk since the early 70s. Once again, go onto youtube and see if that track is a one hit wonder. Patrice Rushen is MASSIVE. so is Change, so are Brass Construction. Perhaps you should put a link to this website on one of the Patrice Rushen vids or on one of the seven pages of videos for the legendary “Movin” by Brass Construction. Another one you seem to think is a one hit wonder rofl. Yes 7 full pages with various mixes, live performances and thousands and thousands of views. 433,000 in just one video alone. Just because youve forgotten something dosent mean everyone else has! .That does not make it a one hit wonder lol.This stuff is always played on radio on youtube and in parties…
    Anyway at least youve given me a great laugh.
    peace and hilarity 🙂

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    Soulhead 1981. Thanks for your comment. uses the Billboard Top 40 as the criteria to call someone a one-hit wonder. That doesn’t mean a band doesn’t have more than one hit; many do. It simply means that a particular artist or band only reached the Billboard Top 40 one time in their career.

    As far as Patrice Rushen is concerned, I call out that she has had an impressive career. Plus, there is absolutely NO SHAME in being called a one-hit wonder. Most bands and artists would be thrilled to even place a single song in the Billboard Top 40 and most rarely do. My site celebrates one-hit wonders across genres.

    “Forget Me Nots” has a great riff and is deservedly played at parties today. And yes, if you listen to the soul and R&B stations today, you may hear “Forget Me Nots.” But you won’t hear it on pop oldies stations anymore–at least not often in the United States.

    Please keep reading and commenting. And please read my definition of What is a One-Hit Wonder

  3. Marques Travae says:

    I always find it very disrespectful when people define black artists as “one hit wonders” simply because they didn’t find much success on Top 40 pop charts. Patrice Rushen is by no means a “one hit wonder”. On black radio and charts, audiences will remember her for a string of hits in the late 1970s and early to mid 80s. “Haven’t Ya Heard”, “Remind Me”, “Hang It Up”, “Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up”, “Feels So Real”, “Number One” and other songs were hit songs that any R&B fan from that era will remember. There are numerous black artists that may not have gained crossover success, but were successful or headlining acts in the black community. Rick James, the Gap Band and Teena Marie and Parliament/Funkadelic are just a few artists that come to mind.

    Patrice Rushen also had a successful career as a musical director on various tours of other artists. “Forget Me Nots” is just one of her biggest hits and I vividly remember this song from the spring/summer of 1982. Of course any one can write their opinions, but perhaps an R&B fan would have been better suited to write something about Patrice Rushen not someone who reduces her to a “one hit wonder”.

  4. Michael Waterman says:


    Thanks for the thoughtful response and information about Patrice Rushen. The goal of this site is to celebrate an artist’s single visit to the Billboard Top 40. In no way does this minimize their entire career and many of the artists that are considered “one-hit wonders” have many chart hits–just not in the United States.

    Read this page for more details:

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