Kate Bush was not present for her induction, but was honored by Big Boi and St. Vincent.
Kate Bush didn’t attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, but some of her biggest fans celebrated her induction and her decades-long career: OutKast’s Big Boi, one of the most fervent (and unlikely) admirers of Kate Bush, delivered her induction speech as St. Vincent performed “ Running Up That Hill », the hit of the British singer.
Big Boi began his speech by recalling memories of his first encounter with Bush’s music. “ I fell in love with Kate Bush when I was in middle school. My uncle Russell introduced me to it and I listened ‘Running Up That Hill’ every morning while cycling to school. I was that kid in Stranger Things, he joked, referring to the Netflix series’ cover of the song. Since then, I have been obsessed with his music and have remained his biggest fan. »
He went on to praise the inventiveness of Kate Bush’s voice and the theatricality of her stage presence. “ On the surface our music is obviously very different, but in important ways it is exactly the same. What I love about Kate’s music is that I never know what sound I’m going to hear next. She ignores anything that sounds like a formula and, instead, she does what she wants, like me, she challenges me as a listener and expands my ears and my mind. » He also shared personal memories of meeting her and introducing her to her family.
Big Boi has long defended the British singer in interviews over the decades. “ She is one of my favorite artists of all time. She’s number one.”, the rapper said in a 2013 interview, where he also talked about listening to his music on his bike as a kid. His speech was followed by a video in which Elton John, Peter Gabriel and David Gilmour paid tribute to Bush’s career.
Vincent then went on stage to perform “ Running Up That Hill », supported by the Blackstone House Band.
Before the ceremony, Kate Bush released a statement confirming that she would not attend the event and expressed her honor at the recognition: ” I am completely blown away by this immense honor, an award that speaks to the beating heart of the American music industry. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. I never imagined receiving this wonderful award. »
She expressed her excitement at being nominated alongside artists she has long admired. “ When I was growing up, my hero was Elton John. I immersed myself in his music, dreaming of being able to play the piano like him and writing songs that could move people the way his work moved me. This little girl from South East London could never have imagined that she would be sharing the event tonight with Bernie Taupin, Elton’s writing partner, an incredible lyricist who inspired me to keep writing songs, to keep trying. Congratulations to Bernie! Congratulations to everyone who is inducted tonight! »