Nepo Babies of the Week: Kate Hudson’s Son Will ‘Live Forever’ in Song

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

An artist like Kate Hudson cannot be tied down to one identity. Actress, athleisure soothsayer, and now musician… this gold-standard nepo baby (daughter of Bill Hudson and Goldie Hawn, the latter of whom has been with Kurt Russell since 1983) does it all. Hudson made her debut as a songstress this January with her dance pop tune, “Talk About Love.” It was… spirited! Now, she’s back with a brand new sound. “Live Forever,” a twangy song dedicated to her eldest child, son Ryder Robinson, is straight-up country.

Based on the visuals and sound of her “Live Forever” music video, Hudson is going for a cross between Stevie Nicks and Reba McEntire. Home movie clips appear throughout the video, documenting Ryder’s childhood and Hudson’s entranced motherly love. “Nothing can prepare you for a love that swallows you whole,” she recently told People, “but that’s what watching my son grow up has been for me—and when we started writing these songs, it was a feeling that absolutely had to be part of the record.” It’s unclear how Ryder—now 20—feels about his young likeness being released for public consumption, but hopefully that conversation happened before the video’s release.

In the video, Hudson stands in what appears to be a Californian back yard, clad in a black vest and flowy white top. “It was you and me forever,” she sings. “Can you share a little time?/ If you can’t, I’ll give you mine.” Acoustic guitar strums in the background throughout, and the chorus hits all the expected notes: “I was just a little girl/ Dove deep into the world/ Thought I could take it on/ And you showed up right by my side/ My witness and my life/ Now, we’ve grown up in stride.”

The frame story for this video appears to be clips of Ryder packing up a small suitcase and moving out as a freshly minted adult. Hudson says goodbye in the threshold, her eyes glimmering with proud tears. In between, his life flashes before our eyes—Hudson holding him for the first time as an infant; his toddler self tangled up in a scarf; the pair riding an ATV and a dirt bike along a mountain road; playing guitar together; and goofing off in all manner of places, including Disney. Throughout, we catch close-ups of Hudson’s face as she, too, ages before our eyes from a 24-year-old first-time mother into the full-fledged adult we see now.

“I was so young when Ryder was born, I look back and marvel; I was almost a kid, too, so we were able to fall in love with growing up at the same time,” Hudson told People. “And when you listen to the song and watch, it sweeps you up like someone’s arms around you.”

Sonically, “Live Forever” is in keeping with Hudson’s output so far. It’s certainly not awful, but it lacks the effervescent charisma one would expect from one of Hollywood’s sparkliest wunderkinds. Both this and “Talk About Love” sound more like genre karaoke—approximations of various hit songs and reference points—than personally inspired executions. They could’ve come from anyone, and on first listen, they each kept me waiting for an emotional climax that never arrived. (Although, that said, the “I’ve got you-ooh, oooooh!”s at the end of this new song were a fun little surprise.)

Hudson might be the fulcrum of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable dynasties, but she’s never been one to let nepo-baby discourse drag her down. Speaking with The Independent two years ago while promoting her supporting turn in Netflix’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, she shrugged it off with an “I really don’t care.” As she sees it, storytelling is in her family’s blood. “People can call it whatever they want, but it’s not going to change it.” And besides, she added, nepotism might actually be an even bigger scourge in other industries.

“I see it in business way more than I see it in Hollywood,” Hudson said. “Sometimes I’ve been in business meetings where I’m like, ‘Wait, whose child is this?’ Like, ‘This person knows nothing!’ I don’t care where you come from, or what your relationship to the business is. If you work hard and you kill it, it doesn’t matter.”

As an actress, Hudson has already killed it. She won a Golden Globe in 2001 for her enchanting, heartbreaking performance in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous; since then, she’s proven herself as both a rom-com queen and, in Glass Onion, a self-aware comedy star. Hudson’s acting persona feels well-honed and specific; she often plays the cool girl who masks her vulnerable interior with impeccable style and an unbothered facade. Perhaps that’s why I find myself wishing that her musical identity felt a little more distinct. So far, her output has told me little about her, beyond what she might enjoy listening to in the car. Established icons like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift might be free to play in any genre pool they like, but as a newbie, Hudson might fare better if she started by peeling back a few more onion layers.

Check out our past Nepo Babies of the Week.

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