Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Singer > B > Kate Bush

Profile of Kate Bush on Famous Like Me

Name: Kate Bush  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 30th July 1958
Place of Birth: Erith, Kent, England, UK
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
This article is about the singer/songwriter. Kate Bush is also a character in the Japanese anime television series, Victory Gundam.

Kate Bush (born Catherine Bush on 30 July 1958 in Bexleyheath, Kent, now part of Greater London) is a British singer-songwriter known for her expressive 3-octave voice, idiosyncratic and literary lyrics, and eclectic and meticulous musical and production style. She has acquired a large number of extremely devoted fans since her debut in 1978 with the surprise hit "Wuthering Heights", which was number one in the British music charts for four weeks.

Kate Bush - Publicity photograph issued October 2005



While still attending St. Joseph's convent school in Welling, South East London where she studied the piano and violin, Kate Bush caught the attention of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who helped fund her first demo sessions. She signed a contract with EMI when she was 16. However, in the first two years of her contract, Bush did not release an album, but instead completed her time at school and had lessons in dancing, mime, and music. During this time, Bush wrote and made demos of close to 200 songs, which today can be found on bootleg recordings (often known as the Phoenix Recordings). She also performed at various small venues in and near London under the name KT Bush Band.

Her first album, The Kick Inside, was released in 1978, and featured songs she had written during the previous two years, including the single "Wuthering Heights", which topped the UK charts and became an international hit. A period of intense work followed. A second album, Lionheart was quickly recorded; Bush has often expressed disatisfaction with it, feeling she needed more time to get it right. Then there was the endless promotional work and an exhausting tour, the only one of her career. Kate disliked the exposure and the celebrity lifestyle, feeling it was taking her away from her main priority: making music. A slow and steady withdrawal from public life began as she moved into producing her own work with Never for Ever and developed a perfectionistic, painstaking approach to making music which would see her ensconced in the studio for long periods and only needing to face the glare of the press when the subsequent albums were released. Wild rumours would fly while she was engaged in her work - usually that she had ballooned in weight or had gone mad. Then she would re-emerge for a brief period, slim and seemingly sane, before retreating to the studio once more.

A pattern began to form in the eighties where Kate would disappear for up to four years while she honed her new material until it was ready for release. After the release of The Red Shoes in 1993 there was no reason to suppose that she wouldn't reappear in three or four years with another set of songs. But the period of silence that followed her seventh studio album was much longer than anyone had anticipated.

Bush dropped out of the public eye for many years, although her name occasionally cropped up in the media in connection with rumours of a new album release. There were also unconfirmed reports that she had suffered a nervous breakdown. The press continued to speculate wildly about what she was up to. The press viewed Kate as an eccentric recluse, sometimes drawing a comparison with Miss Havisham, from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Others argue that she was simply trying to give her young son a normal, happy childhood, away from the world of show business: Bush gave birth to Albert, known as Bertie, fathered by her guitarist and current partner Danny MacIntosh, in 1999. She didn't release the news of his birth to the press and it was over two years before the story broke. On the few occasions she has spoken to the press since Kate has made it clear how happy motherhood has made her.

On 31 August 2005, EMI put speculation to rest and confirmed that Kate's eighth studio album Aerial will be released on a double CD on 7 November 2005 internationally and 8th November in the USA, after a single release "King of the Mountain" on 24 October. The song has been available for download since 27 September on all major internet pay-for-download services including Napster, Rhapsody, and iTunes.

The Studio Albums

The Kick Inside

 U.K. Cover of 1978's The Kick Inside

The Kick Inside was Kate's debut album, released when she was 19 years old; she had written some of the songs when she was only 15. The album opens with whale song which leads into the first track, "Moving", inspired by her dance teacher, Lindsey Kemp. The album contains Kate's biggest hit to date, "Wuthering Heights", which went to number one in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere and a Top 10 hit in many other territories.

Kate's work would mature and develop but The Kick Inside remains a startlingly precocious debut and many of her trademark qualities were already firmly in place. Her cinematic and literary influences were most obvious in "Wuthering Heights". The song wasn't initially inspired by Emily Brontë's novel, but by a tv adaptation, although she did read the novel later to, in her own words, 'get the research right'. She namechecks Gurdjieff in "Them Heavy People," while the title song is based on the ballad of Lizzie Wan, the story of a girl who kills herself after being impregnanated by her brother. The album is also very open about sexual matters, particularly on the erotic "Feel It" and "L'Amour Looks Like You" and the male musicians later admitted to being embarrassed by the honesty of some of the lyrics.

As part of her preparation for entering the studio, Kate had toured pubs with the KT Bush Band, supported by her brother Paddy and close friends, but for the album she was persuaded to use established session musicians, some of whom she would retain even after she had brought her bandmates back on board. Paddy was the only member of the KT Bush Band to play on The Kick Inside. Unlike on later albums where he would play more exotic instruments such as Balalaika and Didgeridoo, here he played the more standard Harmonica and Mandolin. Stuart Elliot played some of the drums and would become her main percussionist on subsequent albums.

The album was produced by Kate's mentor David Gilmour and Andrew Powell.

The Kick Inside is Kate's only album to have a different cover in the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Japan.


 Cover of 1978's Lionheart

Lionheart was rushed into the studio (in Nice on the French Riviera, making this Kate's only album to be recorded outside the UK, the occasional session in Ireland excepted) after the initial success of The Kick Inside. While it has its share of hits, most notably "Wow", it did not receive the same reception as Kate's first album, reaching only number six in the U.K. album charts.

The album takes its title from the track, "Oh, England, My Lionheart", in which a pilot who has been shot down contemplates his homeland as his plane hurtles towards the ground, and to his death. It is a song that Kate has disowned in later years despite it being a firm favourite with many listeners. Literary references include J. M. Barrie's classic novel Peter Pan And Wendy in In Search of Peter Pan (a song which also quotes When You Wish Upon A Star from the classic Disney film, Pinocchio), as well as a nod towards Arsenic and Old Lace in the song "Coffee Homeground" (which pretty much has the same plot as the play, although Kate has said it wa sinspired by a particularly creepy taxi driver). Film references include "Hammer Horror", inspired by the Hammer Film studio, known for their gothic horror films. The British television show The Sweeney, a police drama, is also mentioned.

Kate's brother Paddy plays many more instruments on this album, including pan flute and Mandocello. Making his first appearance is Del Palmer, who would subsequently become Kate's regular bass player.

Lionheart was produced by Andrew Powell, assisted for the first time by Kate, who was keen to implement more of her own ideas.

Never For Ever

 Cover of 1980's Never for Ever

Never for Ever saw Kate's first foray into production, aided by the engineer of her first two albums, Jon Kelly. Andrew Powell's production of the first two albums had resulted in a definite sound which was evident in every track, with lush orchestral arrangements supporting the live band sound. The range of styles on Never for Ever is much more diverse, veering from the straightforward rocker, "The Wedding List", to the sad, wistful waltz of hit single, "Army Dreamers". Never for Ever was the first Kate Bush album to be composed on synthesizers and drum machines (in particular, the Fairlight_CMI), her earlier albums being composed on the piano.

With Never for Ever, Kate watched her album rise to number one on the British album charts for the first time in her career. At the same time, she became the first woman in history to have an album ranked so high in the UK.

Kate's literary and cinematic influences were at work once more. "The Infant Kiss" was inspired by the 1961 film The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave, which in turn had been inspired by The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, while "The Wedding List" drew from François Truffaut's 1968 film La Mariée était En Noir.

Never for Ever is, to date, the only album by Kate Bush not to share a title with one of its own tracks (Lionheart is a truncated version of "Oh, England, My Lionheart").

The Dreaming

 Cover of 1982's The Dreaming

The Dreaming was the first album Bush produced herself. With her newfound freedom, Kate Bush experimented with production techniques creating an album that features a very diverse blend of musical styles.

The Dreaming met with a mixed critical reception at first. Many were baffled by the dense soundscapes she had created. The album was not considered to be a financial success, although it still reached number three in the album charts, and with the exception of the first track to be released, "Sat In Your Lap", which predated the album by several months, the singles taken from it flopped. Over time, however, many music fans have come to regard it as a masterpiece. More than twenty years after it was made, it is still common to hear people remark that the album sounds fresh, intriguing and like nothing else.

Kate was only in her early twenties when making the album and tended to look outside herself for sources of inspiration. She drew on old crime films ("There Goes A Tenner"), a documentary about the war in Vietnam ("Pull Out The Pin"), the plight of Indigenous Australians ("The Dreaming"), the life of Houdini ("Houdini") and Stanley Kubrick's film of Stephen King's novel The Shining ("Get Out Of My House"). There are a few more personal tracks, though: the lead single, "Sat In Your Lap", examines feelings of self-doubt versus burning self-confidence and the search for a balance between the two, while "Leave It Open" speaks of the need to acknowledge and express the darker sides of one's personality. The latter was inspired by the murder of John Lennon ("my door was never locked/Until one day a trigger come cocking")

Hounds of Love

 Cover of 1985's Hounds of Love

Hounds of Love is no less experimental from a production standpoint. Not only did she produce it herself, but for this album, stung by the huge costs she had run up hiring studio space for The Dreaming, she built a private 48 track studio near her home where she could work at her own pace, unhurried by thoughts of cost. Kate has admitted that this was a very happy period in her life and this is reflected by a newfound maturity and confidence to her lyrics, which were often more personal. She writes about the challenges of communication ("Running Up That Hill"), which musically is one of her masterpieces: a passionate, evocative song. "Hounds of Love" concerns the fear of being overwhelmed by love, while "The Big Sky" deals with the frustration of an artist continually questioned by critics with no understanding of the creative process. There was yet another song with a clear literary source: the hit single "Cloudbusting" was based on A Book Of Dreams by Peter Reich, son of Freudian Marxist Wilhelm Reich.

The album is split into two parts which, on its original vinyl release, formed the two sides of the record. The first side, 'Hounds of Love', features the four singles, "Running Up That Hill", "Hounds of Love", "The Big Sky" and "Cloudbusting" as well as "Mother Stands For Comfort", a darkly haunting track about a murderer who seeks refuge with their mother, knowing she will always protect them, come what may. The second side is entitled 'The Ninth Wave', whose title is taken from a poem by Tennyson although the suite of songs it describes have no real connection to his verse. They tell of a woman who is lost at sea, facing death by drowning, and the tortured night she spends in the water.

The Sensual World

 Cover of 1989's The Sensual World

The increasingly personal tone of her writing continued on The Sensual World, with songs about unrequited love ("Love And Anger", "Never Be Mine"), the pressures on modern relationships ("Between A Man And A Woman"), and self-doubt ("The Fog"). "Deeper Understanding" showed a remarkable prescience in its portrait of a lonely person who finds solace in the company of a computer. "Rocket's Tail" (dedicated to her pet cat, Rocket) invoked the joys of indulging in another's fantasy. The quirkiest track on the album, touched by Kate's trademark black humour, was "Heads We're Dancing", about a woman who dances all night with a charming stranger only to find out that he is Adolf Hitler. The title track drew its inspiration from Ulysses by James Joyce. Kate realised that the closing passage of the novel, a monologue by Molly Bloom, fitted the music she had created. When the Joyce estate refused to release the text, Kate wrote original lyrics that echo the original passage, as Molly steps from the pages of the book and revels in the real world. Bush also alluded to Jerusalem by William Blake in a cheeky reference to the song's gestation ("And my arrows of desire rewrite the speech"). The Sensual World went on to become her biggest-selling album in the US, receiving a Gold award for 500,000 copies sold, four years after its release.

The Red Shoes

 Cover of 1993's The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes takes its title from the film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger; the story of the film, and the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen which in turn inspired it, concerns a dancer possessed by her art who cannot shake off the eponymous shoes and find peace.

The musical style was far more simple and direct than on any album since Never For Ever. The initial plan had been to take the songs out on the road and so Bush deliberately aimed for a live band feel, with less of the studio trickery that had typified her last three albums and which would be difficult to recreate on stage. The result alienated some of her fan base who enjoyed the intricacy of her later compositions, but others found a new complexity in the lyrics and the emotions they expressed. Gone were the stories and character pieces of her earlier work to be replaced by a set of songs that are almost like a diary. This was a troubled time for Bush. She had suffered a series of bereavements, including the loss of her favoured guitarist, Alan Murphy, and, most painfully, her mother, Hannah. Many of the people she lost are honoured on the ballad, "Moments Of Pleasure". Her long-term relationship with Del Palmer had also broken down, although the pair continued to work together and many of the songs on the album are about the break-up, most searingly "You're The One". Despite the fact that Kate's pain and grief are obvious throughout the album, her trademark sense of humour was still in place, notably on the quirky disco-shanty "Constellation Of The Heart" and the lead single "Rubberband Girl"; comedian Lenny Henry even provided guest vocals on "Why Should I Love You?", a track that featured significant contributions from Prince.


 Cover of 2005's Aerial

Kate Bush's eighth studio album, Aerial, will be a two-disc set to be released in November 2005. The first single from the album is "King of the Mountain". The song makes references to Elvis Presley and the film Citizen Kane. Fans have already started analysing the lyrical contents. The track was played for the first time on BBC Radio 2 on 21st September 2005, and was made available for download as of 27 September.

On the 17 October, 2005, "King of the Mountain" entered the UK Downloads Chart at #6.

Musical Style

Even in her earliest works where the piano was a primary instrument, she wove together many diverse influences, melding classical music, rock, and a wide range of ethnic and folk sources, to produce a uniquely impressive amalgam, and this has continued throughout her career. More than one reviewer has used the term "surreal" to describe much of her music, for many of the songs have a melodramatic emotional and musical surrealism that defies easy categorization. It has been observed that even the more joyous of the pieces is often tinged with traces of melancholy, and even the most sorrowful have elements of a unique vitality struggling against all that would oppress it. The unapologetic use of her voice as an instrument to convey a broad range of emotional intensity and subtlety is one thing that characterizes nearly all that she does.

Kate Bush has tackled sensitive and taboo subjects long before it has become fashionable to do so; "Kashka From Baghdad" is a song about a gay male couple; "Breathing" explores the results of nuclear fallout. Her lyrics are highly literate and reference a wide array of subject matter, often relatively obscure, such as Wilhelm Reich in "Cloudbusting", or G. I. Gurdjieff in "Them Heavy People".

The lush arrangements, complex production and intelligent, thoughtful lyrics can sometimes mask the fact that Kate Bush is a peculiarly witty writer and that comedy is not only a big influence on her - she has cited Monty Python, Woody Allen, Fawlty Towers and The Young Ones as particular favourites - but also a significant component of her work.

Live Performances

Bush's only tour took place in early 1979 (3 April - 10 May see details below), after which she gave only the occasional live performance. A number of reasons have been suggested as to why she abandoned touring, among them her reputed need to be in total control of the final product, which is incompatible with live stage performance, a rumour of a crippling fear of flying, and the suggestion that the death of 21 year old Bill Duffield, severely affected her. Duffield, her lighting director, was killed in an accident during her 20 April concert at The London Palladium when he fell twenty feet through an open trap door on the stage. Bush held a benefit concert on 12 May, with Peter Gabriel and Steve Harley at London's Hammersmith Odeon for his family. Bill would be honoured in two later songs: "Blow Away" on Never for Ever and "Moments Of Pleasure" on The Red Shoes.

During the same period as her tour, she made numerous television appearances around the world. She appeared in Germany: Bio's Bahnhof on 9 February 1978; in the United Kingdom: Top of the Pops on 16 February, 1978; in the United States: Saturday Night Live on 9th December, 1978. She also made appearances on Japanese Television.

Video Projects

Kate Bush appeared in many innovative music videos, designed to accompany her singles releases. Among the best known are those for "Cloudbusting", "Running Up That Hill", "Babooshka", "Breathing", and "Wuthering Heights".

In 1993, Bush directed and starred in the short film, The Line, The Cross and The Curve, a musical co-starring Miranda Richardson featuring music from Bush's album The Red Shoes which was inspired by the classic movie of the same name.

In 1994, Kate Bush provided the music used in series of psychedelic-themed television commercials for the soft drink Fruitopia that appeared in the United States. The same company aired the ads in the United Kingdom, but the British version featured Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins instead of Bush.


She has worked with Peter Gabriel on two of his albums, most notably on the hits "Games Without Frontiers" and "Don't Give Up" (the latter a duet); and his appearance on her 1979 television special. Their duet of Roy Harper's "Another Day" was discussed for release as a single, but this never came to pass. Harper is another frequent collaborator, appearing on her song "Breathing" and she on his albums HQ, Once (both also featuring Gilmour) and The Unknown Soldier.

She has appeared in duets with Midge Ure, Big Country and others on their albums. A wide diversity of respected artists have worked with her on some of her more recent albums ranging from the legendary rock guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour and Ian Bairnson, bassists Mick Karn and John Giblin, jazz/rock drummer Stuart Elliot, violinist Nigel Kennedy, the classical guitarist John Williams, folk artists The Trio Bulgarka, and Prince.

Influence On Other Musicians

Bush has been noted as an influence and inspiration by artists as diverse as Kele Okereke,Placebo, Liv Kristine, Jewel, Tori Amos, Björk, Sarah McLachlan, Suede, Paula Cole, Sinéad O'Connor, Pat Benatar, Happy Rhodes, Maxwell (who covered "This Woman's Work"), The Utah Saints, Big Boi of OutKast, The Futureheads (who have covered "Hounds of Love"), Goldfrapp, The Decemberists and others. In fact, in the 1980s and 1990s it became almost standard for individualistic female singer-songwriters to be compared to Bush by the media. The trip hop artist Tricky has stated her work has been a significant influence on him and that she should be treasured more than the Beatles. Though many outside of Europe remain unfamiliar with her work and its profound intensity, others in her profession are willing to declare her works as those of great genius. Even the iconoclastic punk rocker John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) has declared her work to be "fucking brilliant" and has labelled her "a true original". Suede front-man Brett Anderson has stated that "Wuthering Heights" was the first single he ever bought. Brazilian Power metal group Angra covered "Wuthering Heights" on their first album, Angels Cry. Daniel Johns of Silverchair was turned onto Bush while recording the band's "Neon Ballroom"- a breakout album in that band's career in terms of sophistication, experimentation and lyrical innovation.

In 1998, a tribute album was released called I Wanna Be Kate, featuring Chicago-area musicians.


Studio albums

  1. The Kick Inside (1978), UK #3
  2. Lionheart (1978), UK #6
  3. Never for Ever (1980) UK #1
  4. The Dreaming (1982), UK #3, US #148
  5. Hounds of Love (1985) UK #1, US #30
  6. The Sensual World (1989), UK #2, US #43
  7. The Red Shoes (1993) UK #2, US #28
  8. Aerial (2005) - scheduled to be released world-wide on November 7, 2005 (but November 8 in North America); the first single from the album, entitled "King of the Mountain" is scheduled to be released on October 24.

Live albums and Extended plays

  1. On Stage - 4 Live Tracks ( EP ) (1979)
  2. Live at the Hammersmith Odeon (1989)


  1. The Whole Story (1986) (includes a new rendition of "Wuthering Heights") UK #1, US #78
  2. This Woman's Work 1978-1990 (1990, rereleased in 1998) (a boxed set of her six albums to date, also including two discs of rare b-sides)


  1. Live at the Hammersmith Odeon (1981)
  2. The Single File (1983)
  3. Hair of the Hound (1986)
  4. The Whole Story (1986)
  5. The Sensual World: The Videos (1989)
  6. The Line, the Cross and the Curve (1994)


Year Title Chart positions Album
UK US Modern Rock US Hot 100
1978 "Wuthering Heights" 1 (4 weeks) - - The Kick Inside
1978 "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" 6 - 85 The Kick Inside
1978 "Hammer Horror" 44 - - Lionheart
1978 "Wow" 14 - - Lionheart
1979 "On Stage EP" 10 - - Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon
1980 "Breathing" 16 - - Never For Ever
1980 "Babooshka" 5 - - Never For Ever
1980 "Army Dreamers" 5 - - Never For Ever
1980 "December Will Be Magic Again" 29 - - Non-album Christmas song
1981 "Sat In Your Lap" 11 - - The Dreaming
1982 "The Dreaming" 48 - - The Dreaming
1982 "There Goes a Tenner" - - - The Dreaming
1985 "Running Up That Hill" 3 - 30 Hounds of Love
1985 "Cloudbusting" 20 - - Hounds of Love
1985 "Hounds of Love" 18 - - Hounds of Love
1985 "The Big Sky" 37 - - Hounds of Love
1986 "Experiment IV" 20 - - The Whole Story
1989 "The Sensual World" 12 6 - The Sensual World
1989 "Love and Anger" 38 1 (3 weeks) - The Sensual World
1990 "This Woman's Work" 25 - - The Sensual World
1991 "Rocket Man" 12 11 - Two Rooms (Elton John tribute album)
1993 "Rubberband Girl" 12 7 88 The Red Shoes
1993 "Eat the Music" - 10 - The Red Shoes
1993 "Moments of Pleasure" 26 - - The Red Shoes
1993 "The Red Shoes" 21 - - The Red Shoes
1993 "And So Is Love" 22 - - The Red Shoes
1994 "The Man I Love" 26 - - The Glory of Gershwin

(George Gershwin tribute album)

2005 "King of the Mountain" 6 (Downloads) - - Aerial

In 1984 a boxed set called The Single File was released that contained all of the singles up to that point on 7" 45s.

The Tour of Life 1979

  • Empire, Liverpool, UK (3 April)
  • Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK (4 April)
  • Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK (5 April)
  • New Theatre, Oxford, UK (6 April)
  • Gaumont, Southampton, UK (7 April)
  • Hippodrome, Bristol, UK (9 April)
  • Apollo Theatre, Manchester, UK (10 April)
  • Apollo Theatre, Manchester, UK (11 April)
  • Empire Theatre, Sunderland, UK (12 April)
  • Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK (13 April)
  • The Palladium, London, UK (16 April - 20 April)
  • Concert House, Stockholm, Sweden (24 April)
  • Falkoneer Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark (26 April)
  • Congress Centrum, Hamburg, Germany (28 April)
  • Carré Theatre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (29 April)
  • Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany (2 May)
  • Circuskrone, Munich, Germany (3 May)
  • Guerzenich, Cologne, Germany (4 May)
  • Theatre de Champs Elysees, Paris, France (6 May)
  • Rosengarten, Mannheim, Germany (8 May)
  • Jarhunderthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (10 May)
  • Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK (May 12) Benefit concert. Recorded as Live at the Hammersmith Odeon

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kate Bush