Honorary Doctorate - 2010
Currently in the middle of an autumn tour of the UK and with a new album soon to be released, Yorkshire's Kate Rusby has made a name for herself as one of the country's top folk singer/songwriters.
Sometimes known as the Barnsley Nightingale, Kate's soft Yorkshire accent is a defining feature of her songs and her live shows are filled with anecdotes about the area she grew up in near Penistone, told in her bubbly personal style.
Last Christmas Kate released a CD of the famous Sheffield Carols - a canon of traditional songs and tunes only sung in pubs in the Peak, which attracts hundreds of visitors to the region throughout December. It was her ninth successful album and it re-confirmed her status among the UK's top performers.
Kate also appeared in the Sony-Award winning radio programme called Steelos - a special history punctuated by song - about the decline of the Sheffield steel industry, which was written and produced by another of our honorary doctors, John Tams.
She has headlined various national folk festivals and has won four BBC Radio 2 National Folk Awards. In 2006 she received an AOC Gold Award linked to Barnsley College where she studied performing arts between the ages of 16 and 18.
In 2001 The Guardian described her as a superstar of the British acoustic scene and Q magazine said 'folk music doesn't get any cooler than Kate Rusby'. She is one of the few folk singers to have been nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Though Kate has shunned offers of becoming a pop star, she collaborated with Ronan Keating on a single which reached the Top Ten in 2006. In the same year her version of The Kinks' 'The Village Green Preservation Society' was used as the theme tune to the BBC 1 TV sitcom jam and Jerusalem.
Kate grew up in a family of musicians who introduced her to folk music, guitar, piano, fiddle and singing from an early age. Though maintaining a solo career, she has performed with several other Yorkshire groups and folk artists.