Catherine Bush on July 30, 1958 in Welling, Southeast London, England
Kate Bush probably stopped short of becoming a major American pop star because her style remained fiercely unpredictable and never quite fit into common '80s music trends. However, such eclecticism certainly never hurt Bush's success in her native U.K., as she has maintained a consistent chart presence there and a loyal, fervent fan base worldwide. Known most for her distinctive soprano and her willingness to employ it in variously challenging recordings loosely referred to as modern rock or college rock
, Bush has built a singular career across four decades of pop music activity.
Growing up in an artistic family on the outskirts of London, Bush quickly gravitated to music as a pre-teen, learning to play multiple instruments and write her own songs. In fact, her family helped her put together a demo tape during the mid '70s that eventually caught the attention of Pink Floyd
guitarist David Gilmour. With the help of an established music star, Bush secured a major-label record deal at age 19 and recorded demos of her own compositions at a breakneck pace. The work would soon pay off handsomely, particularly for an artist almost impossible to classify.
Whirlwind Debut & Immediate Success:
Bush would release two LPs during 1978 in The Kick Inside
, both of which went platinum and reached the Top 10 on the U.K. album charts. And although she insisted on having significant control over artistic decisions, Bush struggled to avoid being marketed purely as a sex symbol without greater focus on her music. Nevertheless, the singer-songwriter became a pop mainstay for the new decade, ultimately landing her four '80s LPs in the U.K. Top Three, including a pair of chart-toppers - 1980's Never for Ever
and 1985's Hounds of Love
Enduring Status as U.K. Superstar:
Bush has continued her prominent but fiercely self-directed career as a performing artist and has managed the singular feat of landing albums in the U.K. Top 5 in five consecutive decades. Despite a more intermittent recording pace - only producing one album between 1993 and 2011, for example - Bush has generated major attention and widespread acclaim for all of her wildly different projects. Strongly influential if not a major household name in America (only "Running Up That Hill"
and "Don't Give Up"
even charted on the singles charts there), Bush has sustained a revered place in pop music circles that shows no signs of decline.