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Kate Bush thanks fans as ‘Running Up That Hill’ surpasses one billion streams

'Thank you so much for sending this song on such an impossibly astonishing journey'

By Joe Goggins

Bush has enjoyed a resurgence thanks to 'Stranger Things'. (Photo: YouTube)

Kate Bush has thanked fans as ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)’ surpassed the one billion stream mark.

The reclusive singer shared a rare message with her followers yesterday (June 21) after the 1985 track hit the milestone earlier this week. The song’s enduring popularity was further bolstered last year by its use in a key scene in the fourth season of Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Writing on her website, Bush said: “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.”

The streaming milestone comes a year after ‘Running Up That Hill’ topped the UK singles chart last June, off the back of its Stranger Things resurgence. By July, the music data website Luminate estimated that the song’s connection with a new generation of fans had earned Bush in excess of $2 million of streaming revenue. 

She discussed the impact of the track’s placement on the show in a rare interview with BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour last June, saying: “I thought that the track would get some attention. But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this. It’s so exciting. But it’s quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.”

She went on to register her appreciation for the new avenues that the song’s renewed popularity had opened up for her, acknowledging that it had reached “a whole new audience who, in a lot of cases, they’ve never heard of me. The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it is, well, I think it’s very special.”

Last month, Bush broke cover to pay tribute to her former bassist John Gilbin, who died at the age of 71 on May 14. He played bass on Bush classics like ‘Babooshka’ and ‘Breathing’. “I loved John so very much,” she said. “He was one of my very dearest and closest friends for over forty years. We were always there for each other. He was very special. I loved working with him, not just because he was such an extraordinary musician but because he was always huge amounts of fun.”