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05th Nov 2023

Kate Bush receives Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame tribute we never saw coming

Simon Kelly

Kate Bush Big Boi

“Obviously our music is very different.”

Kate Bush was inducted as a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 2023 and a tribute was paid by an unlikely source.

Nominated three times before: in 2018, 2021 and 2022, Bush found a brand new audience when her hit single ‘Running Up That Hill” was used in the latest season of Stranger Things, introducing her music to a new generation of fans.

The English singer-songwriter was inducted into the Rock Hall Class of 2023 in May, alongside George Michael, Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, Rage Against the Machine, and the Spinners.

Speaking of the honour, Bush said: “I have to admit I’m completely shocked at the news of being inducted into the Hall of Fame! It’s something I just never thought would happen,” she said in a statement after the news became public.

While she wasn’t present at the event itself, the honour was announced alongside a tribute speech from one of her biggest fans: Big Boi from Outkast.

Describing Bush as his favourite artist, the rapper has previously tried to get in touch with the singer for years, eventually getting through to her on a phone call in 2012.

Outkast rapper Big Boi honours Kate Bush with brilliant speech

In his speech for Kate Bush’s inclusion into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Big Boi said the he was introduced to her music by his favourite uncle Russell in middle school and likened himself to the kids from Stranger Things listening to ‘Running Up That Hill’ on is bike.

“I know what some of you are thinking,” he said. “What does Kate Bush have to do with hip-hop? She is such a unique artist, you might as well also ask: What does Kate Bush have to do with rock’n’roll?

“Obviously our music is very different. But in important ways, we’re exactly the same. What I love about Kate’s music is that I never know what sound I’m gonna hear next. She ignores anything that seems like a formula and instead just does whatever she wants to do, like me. She challenges me as a listener and expands my ears and my mind.”

Big Boi went on to praise Bush’s “incredibly inventive” voice, saying she is a “miracle” on stage: “Kate is a songwriter, producer, and performer without equal. If that’s not hip-hop, I don’t know what is.

“When I didn’t know Kate, I imagined she lived in London in a castle high on top of a mountain writing fairy tales and playing a big ass piano—super big, like Bugs Bunny big. The truth is a little bit different from that. I met Kate, we had long conversations, I introduced my family to her, and I met her son out at her shows in London. It was cool.

“It’s no surprise that she had a surge of popularity decades after she emerged on the scene. After all, if you were hearing Kate’s music for the first time, why wouldn’t you believe she was a current artist? The only mistake you might make is that the artists she influenced had influenced her. But it’s very much the other way around.

“Kate Bush has helped shape contemporary music, even the music of artists who have never heard of her. She is a true artist and a true visionary and that’s why Kate Bush belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

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