Big Boi suffers big bird problem after bringing pet owl out on stage for college concert

The OutKast rapper helped calm his beloved sidekick down before helping honor his idol Kate Bush at this week's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Big Boi had a big bird problem during a recent performance at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

The 48-year-old Outkast rapper brought one of his pet owls out on stage with him during the school's football game on Oct. 28, but it immediately got spooked and attempted to fly away. Lucky for Big Boi, the bird didn't get too far because it was leashed to his right hand.

In video footage obtained by TMZ, Big Boi can be seen attempting to wrangle the owl and rap along to his and Sleepy Brown's 2021 collaboration, "Sucka Free," until a handler intervenes and gets the bird to safety. He and Brown are then able to continue their performance.

Erika Goldring/WireImage Big Boi
Erika Goldring/WireImage Big Boi

Big Boi — who is the proud parent of four owls named Tula, Simon, Whodini, and Hootie — seemingly brought the owl to the event as a nod to Kennesaw State University's owl mascot, Scrappy. He later posted an Instagram video of himself at the stadium with an owl that appeared to be in much better spirits. "Owl hugs," he captioned the post. "Saturdaze wit Babies and Birds."

A few days later, the Grammy winner paid tribute to another one of his great loves — celebrated avant-garde pop artist Kate Bush — at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. In a moving speech, he described the "Wuthering Heights" singer, who was not in attendance at the event, as "a songwriter, producer, and performer without equal," reports Pitchfork.

"On the surface, obviously our music is very different," he said at the event Friday evening. "But in important ways, we're exactly the same. What I love about Kate's music is that I never know what sound I'm gonna hear next. She ignores anything that seems like a formula and instead just does whatever she wants to do, like me."

The rapper continued, "She challenges me as a listener and expands my ears and my mind. No matter how many times I look to albums like The Dreaming or 50 Words for Snow, they sound fresh and surprise me every time. They fill my head with ideas and expand my ambitions for what music can achieve."

Bush, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame on her fourth nomination, has had a recent resurgence in popularity after her 1985 song "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" was heavily featured in season 4 of Stranger Things. Singer-songwriter and Bush protégée St. Vincent performed a cover of the track at the induction ceremony.

In a statement published on her website, Bush said she was "completely blown away" by being inducted into the Hall of Fame and noted that she "never imagined I would be given this wonderful accolade." Other musicians inducted included Sheryl Crow, the Spinners, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine, George Michael, Chaka Khan, Bernie Taupin, and more.

"Music is at the core of who I am and, like all musicians, being on the journey of trying to create something musically interesting is rife with feelings of doubt and insecurity," Bush wrote. "I'm only 5 foot 3, but today I feel a little taller."

The Rock and Rock Hall of Fame ceremony was streamed live for the first time this year, allowing viewers to tune in on-demand or on Disney+. A live audio version could also be streamed through Apple Music 1. You can also catch a two-hour prime-time special of the event, which will feature highlights and performances from the induction, on Jan. 1 on ABC, or stream it on Jan. 2 on Hulu and Disney+.

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