Kate Bush song popularized by “Stranger Things” fueling a career renaissance that feels “a bit surreal”

(Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

Singer Kate Bush earned $2.3 million after her song “Running Up That Hill” was internationally popularized by the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” according to metrics calculated by Luminate Data, an entertainment rating company formerly known as SoundScan.

Since the appearance in the successful streaming drama, “Running Up That Hill”  became the most-streamed track globally, making it to No. 1 on Spotify in both the UK and U.S., while also making it to the top of Billboard’s Global 200 chart.

In just one week, the song generated more than 57 million streams on Spotify.

“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,” Bush said, speaking on BBC’s “Woman’s Hour.”

In her success — and probably without her knowing — Bush has become one of the world’s biggest independent artists. According to Music Business Worldwide, Bush owns the copyrights to her recordings and is likely to take away about 80% of music royalties for herself, which is uncommon in the industry.

Originally, the song was called “A Deal with God,” but due to disagreements with her record label at the time, EMI Group Limited, Bush decided to go with a name that didn’t have the word “God” in its title.

“Running Up That Hill” was the first released single off Bush’s third album “Hounds of Love” in 1985 and reached No. 3 on the UK Singles chart and No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States back then. According to Luminate Data, the song entered its third week at No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart earlier this month. And according to Luminate Data – an entertainment rating company formerly known as SoundScan — the song entered its third week at No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart in June, and is currently sitting at No. 5.

The song reappeared in season four’s final two episodes, which were released with much fanfare on July 1, initiating a second wave of popularity for the singer. “Running Up That Hill” became a key plot point throughout season four and has left viewers anxiously awaiting season five.

“I feel deeply honored that the song was chosen to become a part of their roller-coaster journey,” Kate Bush said, referring to the show’s cast and crew, on her website. “It’s all starting to feel a bit surreal.”

David Espinosa, a senior at Florida International University, is majoring in journalism, with a concentration in film. He enjoys writing, music and art.