Kate Bush Will Join the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a Year After ‘Stranger Things’ Made the Icon a Star Again

The "Running Up That Hill" singer joins Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, and Rage Against the Machine for the class of 2023 inductees.
Kate Bush in 1979
Kate Bush in 1979
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Kate Bush has finally reached the top of the mountain.

The “Running Up That Hill” singer is among the 2023 inductees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, following her career resurgence from the track being used in the most recent season of “Stranger Things.” Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, and Rage Against the Machine round out the artists tapped by the general public to join the Hall of Fame. Disco icon Chaka Khan, producer Al Kooper, lyricist Bernie Taupin, guitarist Link Wray, and DJ Kool Herc were selected by a Hall of Fame committee to also be inducted. “Soul Train” TV host Don Cornelius was announced as the recipient of the annual Ahmet Ertegun Award. The 2023 ceremony will take November 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, with a concert.

Bush’s inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame comes on the heels of the streaming spike from “Stranger Things 4,” where her 1985 pop ballad “Running Up That Hill” played during a pivotal scene involving Sadie Sink’s character Max. The song earned a 9,000 percent increase on Spotify, and landed as No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart and in the Top 10 in the U.S.

“She’s been nominated many times, so the nominating committee was very happy that the general ballot voted Kate in this year,” chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame John Sykes told Variety. “Sometimes it takes a major moment like Willie’s [Nelson] 90th birthday or, in the case of Kate Bush, music being played in ‘Stranger Things’ to shine a light on them for a lot of younger people who didn’t know who she was in 1985; they probably weren’t even born yet.”

The 1985 song inspired Bush to make a rare public statement in June 2022.

“You might’ve heard that the first part of the fantastic, gripping new series of ‘Stranger Things’ has recently been released on Netflix,” Bush wrote. “It features the song, ‘Running Up That Hill’ which is being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love the show – I love it too! Because of this, ‘Running Up That Hill’ is charting around the world and has entered the UK chart at No. 8. It’s all really exciting! Thanks very much to everyone who has supported the song.”

“Stranger Things” music supervisor Nora Felder previously told IndieWire that she was initially “nervous” to approach Bush for song approval.

“I know Kate [Bush] is very particular, as she should be. I kind of felt out, when I called the publisher, I said, ‘What do you think? Does it have a chance?’” Felder said. “She said, ‘Look, she’s very picky but she reviews everything but as long as it lines up with a storyline she wants it to line up with, I could see giving it a shot. Who knows?’”

Felder wrote Bush an essay about why “Running Up That Hill” should receive clearance to be used in “Stranger Things.”

Turns out, Bush was already a huge “Stranger Things” fan: “She loved the show, she’s a huge fan, and she loved the concept,” Felder added. “We were really excited.”

Felder concluded, “This retroactive fandom, these songs being unburied and people listening to them and discovering them like they just came out. It just makes me so happy.”

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