How much is Kate Bush earning from the ‘Stranger Things’ hit ‘Running Up That Hill’ – and what is her net worth?

Image via Netflix

Music has an inalienable power to grab hold of our emotions in a way only few things can. 

The Duffer Brothers, the creators behind the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, were fully aware of this when they metaphorically inserted the use of music as a talismanic device in season four. 

Of course, we’re talking about Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”, the 1985 song from the album “Hounds of Love” that was used to bring Max (Sadie Sink) back from her deathly encounter with Stranger Things season four antagonist Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). Since premiering in the show, “Running Up That Hill” has blown up all over the world, reaching all-new heights in both the U.K. and the U.S. where it has topped the charts in both countries. 

Since premiering on Stranger Things, “Running Up That Hill” has received millions of streams on Spotify, amassing over 57 million streams in one week of June alone, according to Music Week. In the U.K. the Kate Bush classic even elbowed Harry Styles out of the number one spot, becoming Bush’s first number one hit in over 44 years since her debut 1978 single “Wuthering Heights.”  

When released in 1985, “Running Up That Hill” charted as high as number three in the UK. Its recent rise to the top of the UK charts has made Bush the oldest female to get a number one single, a title that previously belonged to Cher. Bush is now the holder of two new records: the longest gap between number one singles; and the longest time it’s taken for a single to hit number one. 

“Running Up That Hill” also officially became Bush’s first-ever top 10 hit in the U.S. according to Billboard. As of this writing, almost a month after its resurgence, the song still sits comfortably at number four. 

The popularity of “Running Up That Hill” isn’t likely to disappear any time soon as Stranger Things continues to use the song as an anthem in season four’s fight against Vecna and the Upside Down. Ahead of the July 1 release of Vol. 2, Stranger Things unleashed a new trailer in which “Running Up That Hill” is remixed with the show’s theme song.

What is Kate Bush’s net worth?

Even before Stranger Things did strange things to “Running Up That Hill”, Kate Bush was already sitting under a healthy sum of money. The musical genius released her first album The Kick Inside in 1978 when she was just 20-years-old. Her breakout hit song “Wuthering Heights” perplexed and astounded listeners with it’s ethereal, whimsical, and almost banshee-like quality. The song sported none of the traditional pop song characteristics like repeating melodies or commercial lyrics. It became Bush’s first number one single, and later she revealed that the inspiration behind it was indeed derived from the characters of Emily Brontë’s classic novel of the same name.

During her tenure as a recording artist, Bush released a total of 10 albums, all of which contributed to her impressive net worth. As it stands, Bush is reported to have a net worth of $60 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

So, how much is Kate Bush earning from the newfound popularity of “Running Up That Hill”?

According to The Sun, “Running Up That Hill” was earning Bush £250 thousand a week from streams on Spotify, which sees over a million streams per day. In U.S. dollars that’s around $306,361 per week.

Bush owns all of the publishing and licensing rights to her music, which means she doesn’t have to split the revenue with anyone else, according to The Sun. That means Bush is “on course to bank a seven-figure sum because of its resurgence”. Whether that’s U.S. dollars or U.K. pounds, it’s pretty amazing that a 37 year-old song has ignited so much adoration and acclaim so far after the fact.

In a rare interview with BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Bush addressed the phenomenon, saying she had agreed to feature her song on the show but “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!”

What Bush loves the most is that a whole new audience of listeners who have likely never heard of her or her music before are finally being introduced to it. “I love that!” she said. “The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it, I think it’s very special.”

Bush also addressed the newfound phenomenon of “Running Up That Hill” on her official website, thanking her fans for supporting the song. “It’s all really exciting! Thanks very much to everyone who has supported the song. I wait with bated breath for the rest of the series in July.”

As do we, Kate. As do we.

About the author

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge, which he has done absolutely nothing with ever since.