Catherine “Kate” Bush, CBE (born 30 July 1958) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, composer, dancer and record producer known for her eclectic music and idiosyncratic performances.
Bush first came to note in 1978 when, at the age of 19, she topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single, “Wuthering Heights”, becoming the first female artist to achieve a UK number-one with a self-written song. She has since released twenty-five UK Top 40 singles, including the top ten hits “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”, “Babooshka”, “Running Up That Hill”, and “King of the Mountain”. She has released ten studio albums, all of which reached the UK Top 10, including the UK number-one albums, Never for Ever (1980) and Hounds of Love (1985). She is the first British solo female artist to top the UK album charts and the first female artist ever to enter the album chart at number-one, as well as the first (and to date, only) female artist to have top five albums in the UK charts in five successive decades.
Bush has been nominated 13 times for British Phonographic Industry accolades, and in 1987 she won a Brit Award for Best British Female Art During the course of her career, she has also been nominated for three Grammy Awards. In 2002, she was recognised with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. Bush was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to music.
Bush was born in Bexleyheath, Ken (now part of the London Borough of Bexley) to English medical doctor Robert Bush (1920–2008) and Hannah Daly (1918–1992; from County Waterford, Ireland). She was raised as a Roman Catholic in their farmhouse in East Wickham with her older brothers, John and Paddy. Bush came from an artistic background: her mother was an accomplished traditional Irish dancer, her father was an accomplished pianist, Paddy worked as a musical instrument maker and John was a poet and photographer. Both brothers were involved in the local folk music scene.
John was a karateka at Goldsmiths College karate club and Kate also trained there, becoming known as “Ee-ee” because of her squeaky kiai. One of the instructors, Dave Hazard, later noted in his autobiography that her dance moves seemed to owe something to karate.
Her family’s musical influence inspired Bush to teach herself the piano at the age of 11. She also played the organ in a barn behind her parents’ house and studied the violin. She soon began writing her own tunes and eventually added lyrics to them.
Bush is married to guitarist Dan McIntosh, and the couple have a son, Albert, known as Bertie. Bertie featured prominently in the 2014 concert, “Before the Dawn”.
She is a former resident of Eltham, southeast London. She previously had a long-term relationship with Del Palmer.
In the 1990s Bush moved to a canalside residence in Sulhamstead, Berkshire and subsequently moved to Devon in 2004.
Though Bush was raised a Roman Catholic, she said in 1999 regarding her spiritual beliefs: “I really don’t think I’ve found a niche.”