Pop singer Jennifer Rush was walking past New York’s Radio City Music Hall with her father recently when something unprecedented happened—a couple of fans asked for her autograph. “My dad thought it was the neatest thing in the world,” reports the native New Yorker, “but I told him, ‘Daddy! You’re supposed to act like this happens every day.’ ”
In Europe, where Rush’s powerful pipes have been heard on the radio for the past 18 months, it does happen every day. Her first album went platinum and her song The Power of Love (not to be confused with the Huey Lewis & the News’s song of the same title) is the all-time top-selling single for a solo female vocalist in the United Kingdom. With the American release of her album two months ago and The Power of Love climbing the charts here, Rush is out to conquer her native land.
Rush, 25, was born in Queens, N.Y., and she has the accent to prove it. The only girl in an extremely harmonious family (both her brothers are musicians and both parents professional singers), Rush has spent a lifetime on the road. Her father, Maurice Stern, an international opera tenor, kept the family on the move. Even so, Jennifer was sent to Juilliard at 9 to study the violin, and at 14 she attended the New York College of Music.
After high school Rush decided to become a singer, so she spent the next three years performing in New York City nightclubs and “bopping around” the U.S. In L.A. she cut a demo tape that was turned down by 10 record labels. Then her father, who was working in West Germany at the time, suggested she try for a contract there, and sure enough, CBS signed her to a multialbum deal. Her fourth single, The Power of Love, hit the top of the European charts.
Rush lives with her 29-year-old boyfriend, a studio musician, in Munich and also keeps apartments in New York and London. For all her talent, Jennifer remains realistic about the fickle nature of the music business. “I know how fast it can happen,” she says, “and I know how fast it can go away.” Rush is scheduled to tour the U.K. this month, but judging from her press on these shores, it looks as though she may come home to stay.