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Flash! – Kate created CBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours

In the 2013 New Year Honours list HM Queen Elizabeth II has created Kate CBE – that is Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

First founded to recognise the service of all ranks of British society in 1917, in its modern form the Order recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds. Today the Order is the order of chivalry of British democracy. Valuable service is the only criterion for the award. There are five ranks of the Order. CBE is the third, ranked above OBE and MBE. It does not carry the title of Dame which is bestowed by the two senior ranks KBE and GBE. CBE is awarded amongst other things for for a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area of national life.

The official citation for Kate says: Ms Catherine Bush. (Kate Bush) Singer and Songwriter. For services to Music.

Also created CBE this year are Tracy Emin, and also Arlene Phillips, with whom Kate took dance classes at the begining of her career. David Munns, long serving EMI executive, and now an advisor of Kate’s also gets an OBE for his work with the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity and The Music Industry Trusts Award.

The Daily Telegraph reports: Bush, one of the most distinctive singers and songwriters of her generation, said it was a “great surprise” to be awarded a CBE for her services to music.The 54-year-old, whose first hit Wuthering Heights topped the charts and instantly made her a star, said: “I feel deeply honoured to be included in this list.”

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Previous awards of the CBE include Billy Conolly, Arthur C Clarke, Michael Caine, Helena Bonham-Carter, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Richard Curtis, Darcy Bussell, John Boorman, Peter Blake, Richard Burton and Peggy Ashcroft,  Catherine Zeta Jones, and Daley Thompson the pentathlete born on the same day as Kate.

Kate will be invested with the insignia of the honour by Queen Elizabeth or another senior member of the Royal Family at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace sometime in 2013.

All of us at send Kate our heartiest congratulations

Sean Krys Dave Peter


Happy Christmas from!!


An open letter to Kate


  1. Simon O'Donovan

    Truly delighted for Kate, who Sky News has just said is “deeply honoured” to receive a CBE.
    She has made such a remarkable contribution to the arts over many years and her music old and new continues to brighten our lives, thank God. Three cheers for our Kate. “Hip hip … “

  2. About bloody time. Fab news,congratulations Kate xx

  3. Blackbird Braille

    Congrats Kate!

    Kate’s full response (according to The Telegraph): “I feel deeply honoured to be included in this list. It’s a great surprise and I’m really delighted. Thanks to everyone who’s encouraged and supported my work over the years.”

  4. Mark

    Is this like being knighted?

    • No, one notch down. This is a CBE. The next one up is DBE, which would carry the title of “Dame”.

      • Alan

        Is it more than the OBE then? That’s quite a surprise that the first such honour she gets is a CBE.

        • Next one up from OBE.

          • Decimus


            Would Kate have the title “Lady”? I only ask b/c people refer to Elton John as Sir Elton John, and he is listed also as a CBE. Or if she isn’t a “Lady” is there any sort of title?

            I am not a UK resident, and am having a hard time following the honorary distinctions.


          • No, no title goes with this honour. Kate is “Catherine Bush CBE”. Sir Elton was first created CBE in 1996. No title went with that, but he was then Knighted in 1998 for services to music and charity (in particular his work with AIDS charities). That later Knighthood gave him the title of “Sir Elton”. This was an award of “Knight Batchelor“, the same as Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Patrick Stewart.

            In Kate’s case it is perfectly possible that a few years down the road she might receive the female equivalent of a Knighthood i.e. become a Dame. The usual way of doing this would be to raise her to the next rank in the Order of the British Empire, i.e. DBE. She would then be Dame Catherine Bush the same honour as Antonia Fraser, Vivienne Westwood, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Judi Dench and Kiri Te Kanewa

  5. Cool Babelicious Entity ? We knew that anyway ! Well deserved xxx

  6. Mark

    Will there be a ceremony?

    • Yep. An investiture next year most likely at Buckingham Palace. Usually conducted by the Queen, but sometimes by Prince Charles or Princess Anne.

  7. Andrew McMichael

    Utterly fantastic news and so well deserved.

    I was surprised to see that Catherine Zeta Jones got one before Kate…no accounting for taste, who’s in this judging panel??

    • It’s now apparently a committee of the great and the good, independent of the UK Government, but advised by civil servants. See:

    • This is the committee that would have approved Kate’s award, before it being sent up to the main committee:

      Arts and Media

      Sir Vernon Ellis – Chair, British Council (independent chair)

      Independent members:

      The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford DL – writer, actor and director
      Dame Liz Forgan DBE – Chair of the Arts Council of England and of the Scott Trust
      Luke Rittner – Chief executive, Royal Academy of Dance
      Sir Peter Stothard – Editor, The Times Literary Supplement

      Official members:

      Jonathan Stephens – Permanent Secretary, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
      Sir Peter Housden KCB – Permanent Secretary, Scottish Government

  8. Stephanie

    This is definitely well deserved! Congrats, Kate.

  9. John R. Sanford

    Kate. You’ve inspired me through the years. Music’s come and gone but I always return to you. A muse, a twinkle, a great light in my abyss of full seeming life! You give me hope with your voice and sheer tenacity. Keep beaming your light and life!

  10. Yay!, I’m really happy for Kate and I think that both Kate and this award are so beautiful!
    I’m from Montana in the USA, in which is the sky is also fondly know as big.

    • Mark

      Good to hear from another American fan! I’m from Louisiana. I hope this ceremony is filmed and put on the Internet.

  11. Will Bodie

    Catherine the Great !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Gabriella Patterson

    about time !!! congratulations to you Kate ,.. would you be called Lady Kate,..( then gain you wear always a first lady) ….. thsi si very so exciting!!!! pop the champan and have a dance .. this is lovely ,.. Kate would look so lovely in a ball gown dress and crown ,.. happy to your tidle Kate !!!
    peace love !!!
    Gabi ,..****:)

  13. Hooray! Congratulations to Kate!

  14. Nanette

    Wow, that’s awesome! What a nice bit of news!

  15. Sky

    So, so delighted for Kate! This award has been a long time coming but as the unique person she is, Kate has deserved official recognition of some sort for a while. I hope she will enjoy the ceremony when it happens, and will keep it in her heart always. Such a wonderful start to 2013 for Kate, and it has lifted my own spirits too.

  16. Syl

    Wonderful, congrats Kate !!! xxx

  17. ian

    so richly deserved. congratulations Kate.

  18. Babooshka

    Congrats Lady Kate Bush….:-)

  19. John

    Congratulations Kate. Not quite the pinnacle of the pointless honours system but close. Just think if she works a little bit harder she could find yourself in the same league as Terry Wogan and Bruce Forsyth. Still at least she outranks Barbara Windsor.!

    Do you think the Queen will recognise her this time?

  20. johnnygee

    While I have reservations about the whole honours system, given that we have it then I am so pleased for Kate. She thoroughly deserves this recognition for her services to Music. Those of us who have been delighted and moved by her music over the years don’t need to be told how precious she is, but it is still gratifying to have it officially recognized.

  21. Del Palmer

    This is so richly deserved and, I may say, long long overdue!!…

    Having watched and been involved in her music for so long I’ve seen how she’s had to fight the “establishment”, especially in the early days, to gain credibility and acceptance as not only a writer but as a producer… Those early days it was so hard for a woman to be taken seriously on so many levels and Kate has blazed a path for all those who follow…

    I am so proud of her!!….

    • Mark

      Good to hear from you Del! She couldn’t have achieved this without you!

    • Blackbird Braille

      I second Mark’s sentiment. Thank you (and the Commander) for all the hard work!

      • Temlin

        all the way thanx all the work thanx Del and Kate and most of all those other persons strong hearted.

    • Eric

      This one is for you, too, Del.

    • Beside every great woman, is a man who supports her through the hard times as well as the good. Thank you, Del for being that man!!

  22. Steve Kershaw

    Magnificent news!!!! So happy for Kate and delighted that she has come in immediately above OBE and MBE levels.
    Sounds like the people running this are more sensible and intelligent than previous ones – how being the first ever British woman singer-songwriter to get to number 1 on its own was never enough to win her an award at least 20 years ago, I’ll never know…still, a time for rejoicing…
    Now, looking forward to her becoming a dame within 10 years (hopefully following some more succesful album launches….)….who knows, even a concert or two? (one can but dream!!)

  23. Tim

    Wonderful! So pleased to hear this news today. As has been said several times it’s long overdue but at least it’s come. Congrats to Kate for all her persistence & hard work over the years & let’s hope there’s more music on the way! Looking forward to a new photo/footage of the investiture next year.

  24. Lise Gerrard

    Greatly deserved & about time. CBE = Catherine Bush, Enigma x x x

  25. Millais

    A well deserved award, that highlights a top level artistic career, far from show-biz, always reflecting the essence of an artist ahead of her time, who has created extremely beautiful sonic landscapes, author of incredibly poetic lyrics. Well done, Catherine!

  26. Blackbird Braille

    So, do we refer to her as Commander now?

    (Blackbird asks whilst The Big Sky 12″ blasts in background. Up next: Constellation of the Heart – Red Shoes, Side B. Must be the capt’n reference 🙂

  27. Excellent news and thoroughly well deserved……..lets hope she secures Lizzie’s autograph this time round.

  28. Thander Easton

    Kate deserves the “Dame” title str8 away!

  29. Rod

    How wonderful. Finally there is a panel in place that recognised the fantastic body of work by the woman Del Palmer called “a serious pioneer” (a fabulous phrase). Congratulations Kate, and congratulations Del, and the Snowmen, and the entire Bush team – you should all be very proud. What a corking 12 months. It’s going to take some topping 🙂

  30. Elizabeth Bracy

    Kate shouldn’t be given a CBE. She should be given POWER OVER THE ENTIRE EARTH AND ALL OF MANKIND!

  31. Temlin

    Wow, wow, wow,wow,wow,wow ! ‘n’ Wonderful !
    Viva ! Britannia
    God save The Queen !
    Cheers, cheers and cheers !
    Proof of the queen of the musical world….
    Honourable to any !
    Hymn tRUTH now the end of history, brilliant brighten, , , count down 2013 !
    o no, not to forget to say,,,,
    Conglaturations !
    so, so
    not too long . . .
    of course to Kate Bush.

  32. giulio

    What a wonderful thing! 🙂
    Congratulations Kate 🙂


    of course we can be critical at times of how the system works butdelighted that Kate was honoured,she has been a mould breaker in so many ways!

  34. tibbynitz

    oh good, she’s finally received the same recognition as Catherine Zeta Jones! lmao

  35. S McKnight

    It appears that I’m the only one disappointed that she has accepted this antiquated ‘honour’. In my opinion, she should be among the list of honourables such as Roald Dahl, Evelyn Waugh, Danny Boyle, LS Lowry and David Bowie amongst the many who have refused this ‘recognition’.

    Surely, being a high-profile musician with a highly sucessful career that spans several decades with a critical reception for each release that has now become a fawning servility, resulting in her being a millionare many times over is enough recognition for her ‘contribution’ to music?

    For some people, enough will never be enough. I know I’m probably being irrational, but I kind of expected better.

    • Matter of opinion surely. Some may agree with you. Others don’t. Why is your opinon “better”? It’s just different. Many good people have accepted their country’s honours as a mark of respect and appreciation.

    • John

      Actually, thinking it through, it’s not surprising that Kate has accepted this. It’s the one aspect of fame that she does seem to relish – recognition though awards. She goes out of her way to maintain a private life. The idea that fans – the people who actually buy her records – might want to say hello, gain a little insight, give thanks and maybe get an autograph – is viewed as something to be avoided at all costs. The possibility of any career documentary – even from reputable sources such as The South Bank Show or a Mojo/Q/Uncut Special Edition Magazine – is also shunned.

      Yet, awards are obviously something Kate craves and views as important to her art. She always turns up for them, no matter how meaningless they are or even when there’s seemingly nothing else in it for her. The Q Classic Songwriter or The South Bank awards didn’t exactly send her albums back into the charts did they?

      The CBE award is a strange one. I’m not a fan of the Honours system, due to their indiscriminate nature. Who doesn’t have one now for instance? It feels like ‘who can we give one to this year?’, ‘Kate Bush hasn’t got anything yet’, ‘oh, okay let’s give her something.’ They don’t feel individual enough, yet they are viewed by many as being important. And Kate will turn up for the it and she’ll be polite and she’ll be charming, and she’ll be photographed as well no doubt. Oh, and when she does go easy on the ‘Kate’s Put On A Bit of Weight and Doesn’t Look 19 Anymore’ headline this time. It was a bit tasteless after the South Bank Awards and is the last thing that needs repeating on a fan site, where anyone that matters will be already be accepting of that or, even better, they won’t care.

      Ultimately I suppose it’s because it’s the work that is somehow being honoured as opposed to Kate, as a person, but even so it’s a strange contradiction from the woman whose actions otherwise are that of someone who seeks privacy and a ‘normal’ life.

      • Actually, until she became a mother and other matters took priority, Kate was quite acessible to her fans, as very many of them would attest. When she became a mother creating a secure home and bringing up her son became her priority. Being a fairly sane person, she is wary of the temptations and dangers of fame and probably too aware of the damage that can be done.

        As to awards, it seems they are offered, and it is the most polite thing to accept them in good humour. As you note, politeness was always one of Kate’s hallmarks.

        There are always strange ambiguities about the honours system. Everyone makes their peace with them in their own way.

  36. Eric

    And so the Lady worked for many decades stealing the hearts of people from all over the world. But official Britain didn’t seem to notice. So the people in all countries started to murmure and wondered: ‘Can’t they see what treasure they hold within their realm?’
    But then, on some wintery day, the Light came. It became known that after 35 years official Britain hád recognized the wonders of the Lady’s brilliancy and her clearing the road for other artists. So they made her Commander of the realm. And from everywhere on the globe the congrats came to the new Commander. And to all the Brits.

  37. giulio

    Well deserved 🙂 it’s high time 🙂

  38. IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I never thought I would see it in my lifetime that Kate Bush’s music would be recognized by the Royal Family!! Congratulations to: Catherine Bush, CBE – soon to be Dame Catherine Bush, DBE!!

  39. Ed

    Daley Thompson was actually a decathlete, of course.

    Well done Kate though. A pleasant surprise. 🙂

  40. HarryHorton

    When does she receive the award? And from what royal members will be presenting it to her? Here on February 6.2013, these are two facets of the CBE ceremony I would like to know. Does this web site have that information, and if so, when will it be posted. The CBE by the way, could as well be,the Catherine Bush Empire. Maybe the British royals will change the award to that title. Stella McCartney and Ewan McGregor of Stars War fame, were two co winners, and I wonder if they would be in the same ceremony as Kate Bush when the award is given.

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