Kate Bush (born Catherine Bush on July 30, 1958 in Bexleyheath, London, England and attended school in Welling) is a British singer-songwriter who has acquired a large number of extremely devoted fans since her debut in 1978 with the surprise hit "Wuthering Heights", which was number 1 in the British music charts for 4 weeks.
While still attending St. Joseph's Convent Grammar school in Abbey Wood, South East London where she studied the piano and violin, Kate Bush caught the attention of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who helped fund her first demo sessions. She signed a contract with EMI when she was 16. However, in the first two years of her contract, Bush did not release an album, but instead completed her time at school through to her O Levels (the precursors to today's GCSEs) and took lessons in dancing, mime, and music. She finished school with 10 O Levels.
School was a very cruel environment and I was a loner. But I learnt to get hurt and I learnt to cope with it.
In 2005, Bush stated in an interview with Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio Two that she felt that EMI did not let her release an album until later not so that she could hone her talents, as they would continually perpetualise, but rather in order that no other record company could offer her a contract. Nonetheless, EMI did forward her a sizeable amount of start-up money which she used to buy a synthesizer and enroll in Lindsey Kemp's interpretive dance classes.
During this time, Bush wrote and made demos of close to 200 songs, which today can be found on bootleg recordings (often known as the Phoenix Recordings). She also performed at various small venues in and near London under the name KT Bush Band.
Her first album, The Kick Inside, was released in 1978, and featured songs she had written during the previous two years, including the single "Wuthering Heights", which topped the UK and Australian charts and became an international hit. In doing so, Bush became the first woman to reach Number 1 in the UK with a self-penned song. A period of intense work followed. A second album, Lionheart was quickly recorded; Bush has often expressed dissatisfaction with it, feeling she needed more time to get it right. Following its release, she was required to undertake heavy promotional work and an exhausting tour, the only one of her career. Bush disliked the exposure and the celebrity lifestyle, feeling it was taking her away from her main priority: making music. A slow and steady withdrawal from public life began as she moved into producing her own work with Never for Ever and developed a perfectionistic, painstaking approach to making music which would see her ensconced in the studio for long periods and only needing to face the glare of the press when the subsequent albums were released. Wild rumours would fly while she was engaged in her work - usually that she had ballooned in weight or had gone mad. Then she would re-emerge for a brief period, slim and seemingly sane, before retreating to the studio once more. Bush during the promotion of album The Single File (1983) Enlarge Bush during the promotion of album The Single File (1983)
It means a lot to me if people are interpreting the music in the way that I originally wanted it to be done. But, I do feel that music is a bit like a painting, in that when you buy a painting, it's because you like it. And what is important is your interpretation of what it means. That's why it means so much to you. I think that applies to records as well.
A pattern began to form in the 1980s, in which Bush would disappear for up to four years while she honed her new material until it was ready for release. After the release of The Red Shoes in 1993 there was no reason to suppose that she would not reappear in three or four years with another set of songs. But the period of silence that followed her seventh studio album was much longer than anyone had anticipated.
Bush dropped out of the public eye for many years, although her name occasionally cropped up in the media in connection with rumours of a new album release. The press continued to speculate wildly about what she was up to; they viewed her as an eccentric recluse, sometimes drawing a comparison with Miss Havisham, from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. In fact she was trying to give her young son a normal childhood, away from the world of show business. Bush gave birth to Albert, known as Bertie, fathered by her guitarist and current partner Danny McIntosh, in 1998. She did not release the news of his birth to the press and it was over two years before the story broke. On the few occasions she has spoken to the press since, she has made it clear that motherhood has made her very happy.
Bush's eighth studio album, Aerial, was released on double CD and vinyl on 7 November 2005 internationally (8th November in the USA), following the release of the single "King of the Mountain" on 24 October.
In an interview with Weekend Australian published in December 2005, Bush stated that Aerial was not meant to be her last work and that she wished to continue writing and recording music.