4 December 1973 |
|Origin||Penistone, West Riding of Yorkshire, England|
|Genres||English folk music|
|Associated acts||Damien O'Kane,
Kate Anna Rusby (born 4 December 1973) is an English folk singer and songwriter from Penistone, West Riding of Yorkshire. Sometimes known as The Barnsley Nightingale, she has headlined various British national folk festivals, and is regarded as one of the most famous English folk singers of contemporary times. In 2001 The Guardian described her as "a superstar of the British acoustic scene." In 2007 the BBC website described her as "The first lady of young folkies". She is one of the few folk singers to have been nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Rusby was born into a family of musicians in 1973 in Sheffield, England. After learning to play the guitar, the fiddle, and the piano, as well as to sing, she played in many local folk festivals as a child and adolescent, before joining (and becoming the lead vocalist of) the all-female Celtic folk band The Poozies. Her break-through album came in 1995. A collaboration with her friend and fellow Barnsley folk singer Kathryn Roberts was simply titled Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts. In 1997, with the help of her family, she recorded and released her first solo album, Hourglass. Since then she has gone on to receive acclaim in her home country and abroad, and her family continues to help her with all aspects of her professional career.
Rusby was also a member of the folk group Equation, later to be replaced by Cara Dillon. The early line-up also featured Rusby's erstwhile performing partner Kathryn Roberts and Mercury-nominated artist Seth Lakeman. Their demo CD, In Session, had a small commercial release.
The previously unreleased song "Wandering Soul" was Rusby's contribution to the soundtrack for Billy Connolly's World Tour of New Zealand, an eight-part BBC television documentary series originally broadcast in November 2004.
A collaboration with Ronan Keating saw Rusby riding high in the UK Singles Chart; their duet "All Over Again" peaked at #6 in June 2006. She also made a vocal contribution to the successful debut solo album of Roddy Woomble, the lead singer of Idlewild. In the same year her cover of The Kinks' "The Village Green Preservation Society" was used as the theme tune to the BBC One television sitcom Jam & Jerusalem. Rusby has written several new songs for the latest series of Jam & Jerusalem, and is credited as being responsible for the show's music.
2008 saw the release of Sweet Bells, an album of traditional Christmas songs interpreted by Rusby.
Personal life 
In August 2001, Rusby married Scottish fiddler and fellow band member John McCusker (formerly of the Battlefield Band), who produced most of her recordings up to The Girl Who Couldn't Fly. They divorced.
Rusby lives with her husband Damien O'Kane and her dog Doris, herself a mainstay feature of Rusby's banter during gigs and appearing on her merchandise. Their first child, a daughter Daisy Delia, was born on 15 September 2009. Kate and Damien were married on 12 June 2010. The couple's second child, named Phoebe Summer Rusby-O'Kane, was born on 30 April 2012.
Solo albums 
- Hourglass (1997)
- Sleepless (1999)
- Little Lights (2001)
- 10 (2002)
- Heartlands (2003)
- Underneath the Stars (2003)
- The Girl Who Couldn't Fly (2005)
- Awkward Annie (2007) #2 UK Indie
- Make the Light (2010)
- 20 (2012)
Mercury Music Prize 
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 
- 2000: Folk Singer of the Year – winner
- 2000: Best Album: Sleepless – winner
- 2002: Best Original Song: "Who Will Sing Me Lullabies" – winner
- 2006: Best Original Song: "No Names" (with Roddy Woomble from Idlewild) – nominated
- 2006: Best Album: The Girl Who Couldn't Fly – nominated
- 2006: Best Live Act – winner
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All the kids at school would be wearing their headphones listening to rock or a heavy metal band and I'd be listening to some fiddle music.
- Freeman, Sarah (16 August 2007). "Can we really trust Wikipedia?". Yorkshire Post. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
- "KateRusby.com: Biography" KateRusby.com (Retrieved: 19 July 2009)
- Denselow, Robin; "Kate Rusby – Queen Elizabeth Hall, London" Guardian.co.uk, 28 June 2001 (Retrieved: 19 July 2009)
- Wilson, Sue; "Lost love and other heartbreaks" Independent.co.uk, 18 June 2001 (Retrieved: 19 July 2009)
- "No sure bets for Mercury" news.BBC.co.uk, 7 September 1999 (Retrieved: 19 July 2009)
- Dexter, Zoe (7 August 2009). "An Evening with Kate Rusby and Friends". BBC. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- "The Official Website". Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- "Safe as Folk". BBC. 15 September 2005. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
- "Kate Rusby New Album ’20′ featuring Paul Weller and a host of Folk Giants". Folk Radio UK. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Radio 2 Folk Awards 2006: Previous Winners" BBC.co.uk (Retrieved: 19 July 2009)
- "Radio 2 Folk Awards 2006: Winners" BBC.co.uk (Retrieved: 19 July 2009)
- Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 239. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.