She is perhaps best known for her starring role in the original Broadway production of Carmen Jones. Rahn also served as musical director of the German State Theater in Frankfurt. Muriel Ellen Rahn was born in Boston in 1911, the daughter of Willie and Bessie Rahn.
Rahn was awarded a degree from the Music Conservatory of the University of Nebraska, at Lincoln.
She also attended Tuskegee Institute, Atlanta University, Columbia University and studied voice at Juilliard School of Music. In 1929, she launched her professional career in New York City.
One of her earlier appearances on Broadway was in the musical, Come of Age written and staged by Clamence Dane with music by Richard Addinsell. In 1950, Rahn made one of her last appearances on Broadway.
Opposite operatic legend Lawrence Tibbett, she played the role of Cora Lewis in the musical, The Barrier, based on the play, Mulatto by Langston Hughes.
Later stage credits included the off-Broadway production of Sara Reavin’s melodrama, The Ivory Branch with Diana Barrymore. In 1959, Rahn became the first black musical director of the Städtische Bühnen Theater in Frankfurt, Germany. Rahn died on August 8, 1961 at Sydenham Hospital in New York City from lung cancer.