‘Stranger Things’ Boosted Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ So Much It Made History

English singer–songwriter, musician, dancer and record producer Kate Bush holding her two awards for 'Best British Female Singer' and 'Best British Newcomer' at the Capital Radio Music Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, UK, 6th March 1979
Stuart Nicol/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1980s singer Kate Bush proved that you can make a big comeback anytime. Her song “Running Up That Hill” recently reached one billion streams on the music app Spotify and Bush became the first female solo artist from the ’80s to do so. Bush can thank the Netflix series Stranger Things for catapulting her song into the spotlight once again. After it was used during a crucial scene in an episode, the song’s popularity grew again.

Last year, after the song was featured in the Season 4 finale, it broke three records including the longest gap between Number 1 singles, the longest time taken for a song to reach number one, and the oldest female artist ever to ever land a UK number 1. After the song broke a billion streams this year, Bush gushed, “A billion streams! I have an image of a river that suddenly floods and becomes many, many tributaries – a billion streams – on their way to the sea. Each one of these streams is one of you. Thank you! Thank you so much for sending this song on such an impossibly astonishing journey. I’m blown away.”

STRANGER THINGS, from left: Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, 'Dear Billy', (Season 4, ep. 404, aired May 27, 2022)

Netflix/Everett Collection

The song was originally released in 1985 on Bush’s album Hounds of Love. While it became one of her most popular songs over the years, it truly got new life and new fans after being featured in the hit series. Keep in mind that a billion streams are only on Spotify and Bush’s song has streamed on other platforms such as YouTube as well. Her official music video for the song on YouTube now has over 200 million streams.

English singer-songwriter and musician Kate Bush at her family's home in East Wickham, London, 26th September 1978

Chris Moorhouse/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Last year when the song was brought back around, Bush shared, “It’s been a crazy, roller coaster year for me. I still reel from the success of RUTH, being the No 1 track of this summer. What an honour! It was really exciting to see it doing so well globally, but especially here in the UK and Australia; and also to see it making it all the way to No 3 in the US. It was such a great feeling to see so many of the younger generation enjoying the song. It seems that quite a lot of them thought I was a new artist! I love that!”

British Invasion
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British Invasion

March 2017

This mop-topped issue has the top 25 British Invasion acts and the second British Invasion of the 1970s and '80s.

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