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Music was a big topic of conversation in our July cover story with Hudson (her favorite workout consists of dancing around wildly to music in her home dance studio). So we asked the busy actress (her new movie, Wish I Was Here, is out July 18) to share her favorite tunes of all time. And luckily, Hudson more than obliged.
As it turns out, Hudson’s past is one big dance party. Here’s a peek into her freewheelin’ existence through her memory’s mixtape. Check it out, then listen to the playlist at the end of the post! We recommend donning your favorite Fabletics workout outfit (Hudson is the owner of the activewear brand), and dancing around for a Kate Hudson-approved workout.
AGE 8: George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex.”
That was where I started! Our whole family danced our butts off to that song in the living room. No idea what it meant! We just knew it made us move.
AGE 9: Pretty Woman soundtrack.
I used to dance to David Bowie’s “Fame ‘90” all the time. It was on the Pretty Woman soundtrack along with [sings] “I’m a real wild child, wild woman, wild woman…” “Real Wild Child” by Iggy Pop.
AGE 12: Janet Jackson, “Rhythm Nation.”
I was in fifth grade and I did a talent show where I danced to the whole thing. I show up and everyone’s doing it with friends and I’m the only one doing it solo! I remember running up to my Dad [Kurt Russell] and being like, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!…” He was like, “No! You go shake your butt up there and do it!” Talk about stage fright: I was terrified, so embarrassed. And I actually won the talent show with “Rhythm Nation,” all by my lonesome! [That wasn't the last time Hudson performed in front of an audience; in 2003's How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, she and costar Matthew McConaughey sang an on-stage rendition of "You're So Vain" (below).]
AGE 13: Neil Young, “The Needle and the Damage Done.” A Tribe Called Quest, “Can I Kick It?”
I started really getting into music about age 13. My Mom only listened to classical, and my Dad was like, ZZ Top, Hendrix, some Zeppelin, The Stones. I remember bringing home Neil Young and thinking I’d found God. I loved “The Needle and the Damage Done.” I know that’s heavy for a thirteen-year-old, but I didn’t know it was a song about heroin. And we were a big Tribe Called Quest family. My brothers and I loved “Can I Kick It?”
AGE 14: The Rolling Stones, Tattoo You.
I spent a whole summer listening to Tattoo You. On the song “Tops,” there’s a line that just killed me, when Mick Jagger says “I’ll take you to the top, hey baby, awwwww sugar!” It killed me! I was like, “So sexy!” I was starting to feel my femininity as a young woman and Mick Jagger was definitely my soundtrack for that moment in my life.
Age 15: Her brother’s girlfriend’s make-out mixtape.
It was my brother’s girlfriend’s make-out mixtape and it had very specific songs: Mary J. Blige singing “Sweet Thing,” The Black Crowes’ “Thorn in My Pride”—Yes, I was a big fan of the Black Crowes before I met the dude himself. It had Lenny Kravitz, “My Precious Love.” And then, it was a cassette, so I would always fast-forward through “Blinded by the Light.” I loved that mixtape!
AGE 16-18: Grunge.
High school was Nirvana time. Grunge. Pearl Jam’s “Yellow Ledbetter” was a real girly driving song. When we first got our cars, and we were girls going out, we would listen to that song over and over and over again.
AGE 18-19: U2’s “Running to Stand Still.”
Joshua Tree was really the soundtrack to the beginning of my career, when I felt like things were taking off. I was flying back and forth, constantly, and I felt like my feet were never on the ground, which was a great problem to have, but I started to get lonely and miss my family. I would listen to “Running to Stand Still” every time I took off on an airplane. I just remember looking out an airplane window and getting above the clouds, and just feeling like, “My life is starting. I’m all over the world and I’m 18, all by myself! It’s pretty cool.”
AGE 20: Outkast, “Hey Ya!”
I was on the set of Almost Famous (above), listening to hip-hop in the Penny Lane jacket, listening to OutKast in my trailer! And I really fell in love with The Boss, because Cameron Crowe introduced me to a lot of songs I hadn’t heard. Then I got The Boss, you know? Now he’s one of my all time faves. There’s very few people I’ve met in my life where I’ve gone like, “Oh my god, oh my god…” Still so gorgeous.
AGE 27: Justin Timberlake, “SexyBack.”
I remember I was in Australia, shooting Fool’s Gold (below), and I had a soundtrack to my divorce. Ha. That was when J.T.’s “Sexyback” came out, and “What Goes Around Comes Around.” And then there was Ryan Adams, “Come Pick Me Up!” That was a theme song for us: [sings] “Come pick me up, take me out, f–k me up, steal my records, screw all my friends…” Such a great song.
AGE 28-29: Donny Hathaway.
Then I got really into Donny Hathaway. I got really back into him, and back into real blues, like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters. I always go back to blues. I just love the earth of it. I can put on an album right now and it does something to me.
AGE 31-34: Chuck Berry, Lana Del Rey
Ryder [now 10] loves Chuck Berry. And anything with heavy bass, which is funny, because he’s playing the bass now. I remember when I was pregnant with him, he’d move in my stomach if there was heavy bass. Maybe he’s just a bass player. Then Ryder really got into alternative music. He’s got a massive crush on Lana Del Rey. He’ll kill me for saying it, but it’s OK. He’ll show me her videos. Oh boy, here we go…
AGE 35: Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball.”
Ryder and I will argue over Miley Cyrus, because “Wrecking Ball”—I don’t’ care what anyone says—it’s a great song! And Ryder will just take me to town on it because he loves the Black Keys, The White Stripes. And Bing [age 2] is just obsessed with his dad [Matthew Bellamy, the frontman of Muse]. I mean it’s like to the point where even Matt is like “Honey, We’re not gonna listen to ‘Panic Station’ right now…”
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