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Kate Bush

Much applauded, much lampooned, pop singer Kate Bush has succeeded in making a name for herself as one of the most unusual female solo acts in the past three decades. While her output has been slow and erratic, it has also been uniformly innovative. Her lyrics are extraordinarily literate, inspiration drawn from books, movies, politics, religions. Her instrumentation draws on multicultural influences, particularly the Celtic music of her mother's heritage. Her voice has such flexibility and range that few can compare.

Kate, born Catherine, Bush (b. July 30, 1958) developed her interest in music as a child and was signed by EMI records[?] by the age of 16, largely through the auspices of Pink Floyd lead guitarist, David Gilmour. In a move that would be unusual today, EMI decided to allow her to develop before marketing her. She studied dance, mime and voice and continued writing, a year later releasing her first single "Wuthering Heights" (1977). It hit the top of the British charts and launched a successful career, beginning with the high-charting album The Kick Inside[?]. Her second album, Lionheart[?], was also a hit, though of lesser degree, and Bush went on her first and only concert tour, The Tour of Life.

The tour, during which Bush changed costume 17 times a night, was highly influential on musicians to follow. The hand-free microphone popular with acts today was essentially created for Kate Bush by her sound man, who bent a coat hanger to hold a mike directly in front of her mouth. Overly expensive, the tour was marred by the death of Bill Duffield, Bush's lighting director, in April 1979. Since that tour, Bush has engaged in only limited live concert appearances, usually in support of charities.

Bush's third album, Never Forever[?], entered the top of the charts in 1980, after which Bush began to focus more on becoming independent. Over subsequent years, she began co-producing her own work, on The Dreaming, and developed her own home recording studio, with The Hounds of Love/The Ninth Wave[?]. That album gave Bush her American breakthrough, with the song "Running Up That Hill," which hit #30 on Billboard's charts in 1985. Bush released a greatest hits album, This Woman's Work[?], in 1987, in which year she also received the Best British Female Artist award at the BRIT Awards in London. Two more albums, 1989's The Sensual World[?] and 1993's The Red Shoes followed, both to admirable success.

See http://gaffa.org/ for more information on Kate Bush.

See also Popular Music/Performers

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