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Stranger Things has taken the world by storm with the release of its fourth season in late last month, and it’s taken with it the song Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) by Kate Bush, which featured in the season’s fourth episode.
The tune, first released in 1985 on the album Hounds of Love, fit perfectly with the season’s mid-80s aesthetic.
No spoilers ahead, but it plays during a climactic, visually spectacular scene surrounding one of the main characters’ encounters with the season’s villain.
While its feature in the show directly brought about the song’s resurgence, it didn’t take long for TikTok to further accelerate its rise to the top of the charts.
A shortened version of the Stranger Things clip has been posted on the app, the original post garnering millions of views in a week and prompting over 500,000 reposts with the same audio.
Incidentally, Bush wrote, produced, and owns 100% of the licensing rights to Running Up That Hill.
Though the song is now distributed by Warner Music Group, her own company, Noble & Brite, owns its recording rights—meaning she gets every cent the song’s streams rack up.
On Spotify alone, the song has drawn 137 million new streams in the three weeks since the Stranger Things episode’s release. Since Spotify reportedly paid artists $0.0033 to $0.0054 per stream in 2021, that makes an average of around $200,000 going to Bush per week during the song’s 2022 revival.
Taking radio play and all other streaming platforms—Amazon, Apple Music and YouTube, to name a few—into account, she could be making $36–392 in royalties per play, to add to her speculative net worth value of over $60 million.
Bush has made a rare public comment on the unexpected influx of new fans and support. “‘Running Up That Hill’… is being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love the show - I love it too,” she wrote on her website.
It’s not Bush’s first time on the charts, however.
Her last track to peak on the UK charts was her 1978 debut single Wuthering Heights, completing the longest gap between No.1 singles in chart history.
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