"I listened to Running Up That Hill every morning as I rode to school on my bike. I was that kid from Stranger Things." Watch Outkast legend Big Boi's incredible speech inducting Kate Bush into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Big Boi on stage inducting Kate Bush
(Image credit: Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

This past weekend (Friday November 3), the 2023 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, honouring the latest round of legendary artists to be officially recognised by the longstanding institution. 

As well as Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against The Machine and The Spinners (plus special recognitions for DJ Kool Herc, Link Wray, Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, Bernie Taupin and Don Cornelius), the legendary Kate Bush was inducted into the Hall this year, and the person who gave her induction speech was none other than one half of Outkast and Kate Bush superfan, Big Boi

The rapper gave a rousing speech about his lifelong love and respect for Kate Bush's career, noting: "if you were hearing Kate's music for the first time, why wouldn’t you believe that she was a current artist? The only mistake that you might make is that the artists she influenced had influenced her. But it’s every much the other way around." The speech was followed by a highlights package of some of Bush's most iconic moments.

You can watch Big Boi's speech via his Twitter (sorry, 'X') page under this story, and read it in full below. Bush wasn't present for the ceremony herself, but acknowledged her induction via a statement on her official website, where she wrote: "I’m afraid I won’t be able to attend the ceremony tonight, but for me the real honour is knowing that you felt I deserved it. The RRHOF has welcomed me into the most extraordinary rostrum of overwhelming talent.”

She went on to heap praise on Bernie Taupin, who was recognised by the Hall for his incredible contributions as Elton John's songwriting partner. “When I was growing up my hero was Elton John," she explained. "I poured over his music, longed to be able to play piano like him and longed to write songs that could move people in the way his work moved me,” Bush wrote. “That little girl in South East London could never have dreamed she’d 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 Bernie! Congratulations to everyone who is being inducted tonight!”

Big Boi's Kate Bush Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction speech in full

"I fell in love with Kate Bush in middle school. My uncle Russell, my favorite uncle, turned me onto her and I listened to “Running Up That Hill” every morning as I rode to school on my bike. I was that kid from Stranger Things. I’m talking about, like, I really think they took my interview and put it in Stranger Things! So since then, I’ve been obsessed with her music and I've remained her biggest fan. I know what some of you are thinking: 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?

"On the surface, our music is obviously 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. No matter how many times I look to albums like The Dreaming or 50 Words For Snow, they sound fresh and surprising every time. They fill with my head with ideas and expand my ambitions for what music can achieve. As a singer, Kate’s voice is incredibly, incredibly inventive. Who sounds like Kate Bush? 'Nobody!' … Like Keith Sweat say. On stage, she’s a miracle. Her songs sound the actual way we just hear them on their own, and in their performance, they actually become theatre. 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 that she lived in a castle in London, like, 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, like, out at her shows in London. It was cool. We just two hearts, baby, let’s go! It does not surprise me at all that Kate has enjoyed a huge 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 that she was a current artist? The only mistake that you might make is that the artists she influenced had influenced her. But it’s every 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."

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.