About Kate

Forever proud to call herself a folk singer, Kate’s vocals never fail to connect the heart of a song to that of her audience. The crossover appeal Kate enjoys is unprecedented for a folk singer and has been achieved without resort to compromise. Recent albums include the celebratory ’30 : Happy Returns’ marking 30 years as a professional musician and her 2020 covers album ‘Hand Me Down’ was her highest-charting album to date.

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 ‘Life In A Paper Boat’, ‘Philosophers Poets and Kings’, ‘Holly Head’ and ‘Hand Me Down’ Kate has stayed true to her folk and acoustic roots.

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.

2023 will be another special year for Kate, an extensive Spring Tour is planned and Christmas 2023 will mark another milestone…

"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


  • 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'