Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill makes history by reaching one billion streams on Spotify, the first 80s song by a female solo artist to do so

Kate Bush in 1985
(Image credit: Getty)

2022 may have been the year that saw Kate Bush's classic anthem Running Up That Hill become a pop culture phenomenon, but 2023 will be the year it officially makes history on streaming. The track's inclusion in Season 4 of Netflix smash hit series Stranger Things saw it receive an unprecedented wave of fresh attention, shooting to the top of the UK singles charts and breaking three records in the process (those records: the longest gap between Number 1 singles, the longest time taken for a song to reach number one and the oldest female artist ever to ever land a UK number 1).

Now, the single is setting records once again, surpassing one billion streams on Spotify to become the first 80s song by a female artist to ever reach ten figures on the platform. In fact, when you include other platforms, Running Up That Hill had already sailed well past the one billion mark, clocking up close to an additional 200 million more streams on YouTube alone. Not bad for a song originally released in 1985.

"A billion streams!" beams Bush in a statement on her official website. "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!" she adds. "Thank you so much for sending this song on such an impossibly astonishing journey. I’m blown away."

Remarking on Running Up That Hill's incredible newfound popularity in an end of year message posted for her fans last December, Bush noted: "It’s been a crazy, roller coaster year for me. I still reel from the success of RUTH, being the No 1 track of this summer.

"What an honour!" she added. "It was really exciting to see it doing so well globally, but especially here in the UK and Australia; and also to see it making it all the way to No 3 in the US. It was such a great feeling to see so many of the younger generation enjoying the song. It seems that quite a lot of them thought I was a new artist! I love that!"

Originally released on Bush's 1985 album Hounds Of Love, Running Up That Hill has endured as one of her most popular songs. Its use in Stranger Things, however, serving as the song Max uses to ward off the evil Vecna's harrowing, gruesome attack, saw it reach a whole new generation of fans. 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.