About Kate

Forever proud to call herself a folk singer, Kate Rusby’s vocals never fail to connect the heart of a song to that of her audience.

As early as 1999, aged just 26, Kate was named as one of the Top Ten Folk Voices of the Century. Everything she has done since has confirmed that honour. From being a 1999 Mercury Prize Winner – almost unheard of for a folk singer both then and now – to her latest albums ‘Light Years’, ’30 Happy Returns’ and ‘Hand Me Done’ Kate has stayed true to her folk and acoustic roots.

Named as one of the Top Ten Folk Voices of the Century, a Mercury Prize Winner, 6-times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner and a warm, Yorkshire sense of humour to boot, Rusby has achieved an unprecedented cross-over appeal. Despite stepping into a more contemporary production on her last few albums, she has stayed true to her roots. Her cover of Manic Monday (Hand Me Down 2020) featured on the BBC Radio 2 playlist. The guests on 2022 album 30 : Happy Returns is testament to Rusby’s wide appeal and include the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, KT Tunstall, and Beth Nielson Chapman.

Kate’s Yorkshire roots contribute to her wonderful and warm sense of humour whilst also providing the rich vein of South Yorkshire carols which together, with the passion she has for Christmas, adds the magic to her annual and hugely popular Christmas tour hailed as ‘The Start of Christmas’ for many people.

2024 will be another special year for Kate with two tours in the pipeline; Singy Songy Session Tour and Winter Light Tour.

"Everybody loves and respects Kate Rusby, not just for her lovely voice, but for the way she has moved folk forward while remaining true to tradition…"

Sunday Times


  • 2023

    Honorary Doctorate - Leeds Beckett University

  • 2019

    English Folk Dance and Song Society Gold Badge Award

  • 2016

    Freeman of the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley

  • 2014

    BASCA Gold Badge Award

  • 2010

    Honorary Doctorate - Sheffield Hallam University

  • 2007

    Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Letters) - Huddersfield University

  • 2006

    Association of Colleges Gold Award

  • 2006

    BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Best Live Act

  • 2002

    BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Best Original Song: "Who Will Sing Me Lullabies"

  • 2000

    BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Folk Singer of the Year

  • 2000

    BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Best Album 'Sleepless'

  • 1999

    Mercury Music Prize for 'Sleepless'