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May 03 2023

#RockHall2023 Inductee


A spellbinding visionary, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Kate Bush created a unique space in rock. She used lush soundscapes, radical experimentation, literary themes, sampling, and theatricality to captivate audiences and inspire countless musicians. 


Kate Bush steered the course of her career from its infancy, fighting her record label for control of her eclectic musical aesthetic and maintaining control by establishing a home recording studio and publishing and management companies for her work. The Emily Brönte-inspired debut single “Wuthering Heights” from inaugural album The Kick Inside (co-produced by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour) made Bush an overnight sensation and the first female artist to reach Number One on the U.K. charts with a self-written song. The album was soon followed by Lionheart and Bush’s only concert tour, which combined music, dance, theater, poetry, mime, burlesque, and magic. Described by the press as an “extraordinary, hydra-headed beast,” the tour was cited by Elton John as “a benchmark for people’s shows in the future.” 


Following a 12-year hiatus, Kate Bush released the critically acclaimed double album Aerial (2005), at once multilayered, experimental, and genre-breaking. In 2014, she returned to the stage for a concert residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Tickets sold out in 15 minutes, and the ensuing acclaim drove eight of her albums to chart simultaneously – another first for women in rock. In 2022, the TV show Stranger Things prominently featured Bush’s emotional 1985 song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” ushering in yet another Kate Bush renaissance and creating a new generation of fans. The song shot to Number One on the U.K. singles chart and into the Top Ten in the U.S., while Spotify streams of the song increased 9,000 percent. 


Kate Bush and her entrancing vocals have influenced artists ranging from Johnny Rotten to Tori Amos to Big Boi. Bush threw open doors for female artists to experiment more radically with their music, image, and theatricality, inspiring Björk, Solange, St. Vincent, and numerous others. She is not only a rock superstar, but a legend. 

Selected discography:  

“Wuthering Heights,” The Kick Inside (1978) • “Wow,” Lionheart (1978) • “Babooshka,” Never for Ever (1980) • The Dreaming (1982) • “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” “Cloudbusting,” “Hounds of Love,” Hounds of Love (1985) • “This Woman’s Work,” The Sensual World (1989) • “King of the Mountain,” Aerial (2005) • “Among Angels,” 50 Words for Snow (2011)  


Nominee: Kate Bush