Boh Runga

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Boh Runga
Boh performing live in New Plymouth as the opening act for Bic Runga.
Background information
Birth nameBoh Runga
OriginChristchurch, New Zealand
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
LabelsSony BMG
Associated actsStellar, Bic Runga
Boh Runga performing in February 2009, at Bar Bodega, Wellington

Boh Runga 1969/1970 (age 48–49)[1] is a New Zealand recording artist and was the lead singer and guitarist in New Zealand rock band Stellar.[2] Boh is the older sister of Bic Runga and Pearl Runga who are also musicians.

Early life[edit]

Boh grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand. She is the daughter of Joseph Runga, a Maori ex-serviceman and Sophia Tang, a Chinese singer who abandoned her own music career in Malaysia to join Joseph in his home country.[3][4] Joseph was a self-taught pianist and died in 2005 from a heart attack.[1] Runga is of Ngāti Kahungunu descent.[5]

Boh left Christchurch for Auckland to form Stellar in the late 1990s. After signing with Sony Music, Stellar released their 1999 debut album Mix and quickly became Sony's biggest selling New Zealand band as the album went multi-platinum. Stellar also secured eight Tui Awards for Mix and its 2001 follow up Magic Line.[6]

Early career[edit]

After the release of 'Magic Line' and the subsequent touring of New Zealand, Australia and Europe, Boh went to Los Angeles in 2003 to hone her skills as a songwriter at the invitation of her LA-based music publishers, Chrysalis. She now lives in Los Angeles.[1] Since 2003, she has been married to Campbell Smith, who is the manager for her sister Bic and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.[1]

In 2007, a fortuitous introduction to the gold bullion company NZ Mint led Boh into designing and launching her first jewellery range called 'Birdland', based on her love of New Zealand's native birds.[7] Due to the success of both 'Birdland' and her second collection, 'The Messenger Stories', Runga now plans to release the jewellery in Australia and North America.[3]

Solo career[edit]

Runga's first solo album, Right Here was released on 14 July 2009. Strongly reflective of her time spent in Silver Lake, LA, the album tells tales of love, loss and life. Recorded over six months in the Hollywood studio of producer Marshall Altman, Right Here has already been warmly received on its recent New Zealand release. The New Zealand Herald gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, noting "its unashamed blockbuster urges and tunepower make it all the more irresistible" and Real Groove called it "an assured collection of streamlined tunes that's guaranteed to surf the airwaves. Collaborators on the album include Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Greg Laswell and writing collaborations with Wendy Melvoin (Prince and the Revolution), Shelly Peiken and Rod Stewart's songwriter Kevin Savigar.

In December 2012, Runga starred in an online video campaign supporting gay marriage, alongside other New Zealand singers Anika Moa and Hollie Smith, as well as Olympian Danyon Loader and former Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard.[8]

In August 2014, Runga featured with other New Zealand artists on the charity single "Song for Everyone".[9]




Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2007 "Tears" (Boh & Carly) Non-album single
2008 "Starfish Sleeping" Right Here
2009 "Be Careful"
"Come Together" (Boh Runga & Che Fu) Right Here special bonus edition
"Names in the Sand" Right Here
2010 "Would You Give Your Heart" Right Here special bonus edition
2011 "Just Talking" (Magik Johnson featuring Boh Runga) Non-album single
2012 "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)" (Flight of the Conchords) 1 Non-album single
"Not Given Lightly" (Various artists) Non-album single
2013 "Shadows" (Dick Johnson, Boh Runga & Tiki Taane) Non-album single
2015 "Team, Ball, Player, Thing" (#KiwisCureBatten) 2 Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c d "Boh Runga's heaven sent". Sunday News. 16 August 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  2. ^ Hayes, Kelvin. "Biography: Stellar". AMG. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b "About Boh". Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Bic Runga Bio". Archived from the original on 22 September 2001. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Neighbourhood". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Boh Runga Bio". Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  7. ^ Cathrin Schaer (21 November 2007). "Boh's birds". NZ Herald. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Marriage equality 'about love'". 3 News NZ. 6 December 2012.
  9. ^ "NZ's biggest stars team up for charity single". Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  10. ^ Boh Runga peaks in New Zealand:

External links[edit]