While I rarely agree with The Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame and many of the inductees that it chooses, (even more so, the ones that don’t get chosen that truly belong), I was happy to see the Hall induct singer Kate Bush for the 2023 class. When the list for the class of 2023 was announced it was met with the usual disappointment by many fans (and rightfully so) that many great rock bands are left out year after year. While many of the artists and bands that get picked for the honor are pop, rap, blues, and even country music. It seems like they should change the name to The Music Hall Of Fame as it would be more appropriate.
Anyway, when the list was announced for 2023, one of the biggest responses that I saw was many people asking “Who is Kate Bush?” or Wasn’t she a one-hit wonder?
Most of these comments were made by fans in the U.S., which for some reason have not taken to Kate Bush as a music icon like many other parts of the world. But make no mistake, just because you haven’t heard much from her yourself, doesn’t mean she isn’t deserving of the award or her rightful place in rock music history.
Kate Bush released her first album in 1978 at only 19 years old and hit the top of the UK charts with the single “Wuthering Heights” and kept it for four weeks. It was notable as she was the first woman to hit #1 on the charts with a song that was performed and written by the actual artist.
Since then Bush has released 25 singles that have made the Top 40 on the UK charts. She made the top ten of those charts with the songs like “Running Up That Hill”, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”, “Babooshka”, “Don’t Give Up” (with Peter Gabriel), and “King of the Mountain”.
Kate Bush has released 10 studio albums and 9 of those albums were in the Top 5 album charts in the UK.
She was the first solo artist from the United Kingdom to not only rank atop the album charts but also the first female artist to enter those charts in the number one spot.
If you’re looking for rock music credentials, she was helped early on in her career by Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour.
While admittedly her style of rock music is very eclectic, it’s still very much rock music. Not hard rock for sure, a softer pop-rock with emotion and power. Kate Bush has always experimented with her sound, that sometimes borders on theatrical and does include elements of pop, jazz, classical, avant-garde, and light alternative rock.
Kate Bush has been reclusive by nature and has only recorded two live albums in her lengthy career.
If you’re one of those people who’s asking “Who is Kate Bush?” Do yourself a favor and check out her music. She’s been a major influence on many current and past performers and she certainly has a devoted following, although not as many in the U.S. Many folks in the U.S. just recently became aware of her when the Netflix TV show “Stranger Things” incorporated “Running Up That Hill” in one episode which put Kate Bush back in the charts at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. And, it hit #1 on the UK singles charts 37 years after it was originally released.
While she may not be everyone’s cup of tea, she is an exceptional artist, singer, songwriter, and performer who deserves the honor.