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Stranger Things powers a Kate Bush renaissance

Illustration by Kate Walker

Stranger Things powers a Kate Bush renaissance


The Future. After the new season of Stranger Things featured Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” in the jaw-dropping climax of its fourth episode, the song skyrocketed in popularity — topping charts for the first time and minting a lot of money for Bush. As with other popular needle drops in entertainment — “Stuck in the Middle with You” in Reservoir Dogs, “Tiny Dancer” in Almost Famous, “Come and Get Your Love” in Guardians of the Galaxy — “Running Up That Hill” may be inseparable from the show for a certain generation.

Running up those charts
Thanks to Stranger Things Vol. 4, “Running Up That Hill” is becoming a cultural anthem… 37 years after its release.

  • According to Billboard, the single became the artist’s first-ever top-5 song in the U.S., charting 26 places higher than when it was first released in 1985.
  • In her home country of the U.K., the song reached #1 on the charts — her first time in 44 years.
  • In just one week, it streamed 57 million times on Spotify alone.
  • Also, the album that the song is featured on, Hounds of Love, jumped to #12 on the album charts. It looks like everyone wants a little more of Bush.

All the success has led Bush to break a handful of records — the oldest female to top the charts in the U.K., the longest gap between #1 singles, and the longest time it’s taken a song to hit #1.

Running to the bank
The deal only gets sweeter for Bush — she owns all the publishing and licensing rights for her music (which goes through Warner Music Group via her label Noble & Brite), and the money just keeps pouring in.

  • Before the new season of Stranger Things was released, Bush’s music brought roughly $12,000 per week between streaming, album sales, and song downloads.
  • After the season dropped, the music generated $156,000 in sales. The following week, it was $258,000.

And don’t expect that popularity to wane anytime soon. The last two episodes of Stranger Things Vol. 4 are set to drop this Friday… and Netflix recently released a new trailer featuring a remix of “Running Up That Hill,” of course.

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