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Kate Bush dethrones Harry Styles to claim her first number one song in Australia

Kate Bush has topped the ARIA Singles chart for the first time in her career, with a song released 37 years ago.

Running Up That Hill, from her 1985 album Hounds of Love, is, in fact, nearly a full decade older than pop star Harry Styles, the artist who now sits second on the latest chart with his hit single As It Was.

It might seem strange that a 63-year-old art rocker could edge out a global superstar like Styles without releasing any new music, but the news probably won’t be a surprise to anyone paying attention to popular culture over the last two weeks.

A whole new generation of fans have discovered Bush’s song after it was included in a pivotal scene in the latest season of Netflix hit Stranger Things, and they’ve since been smashing the track on Spotify, YouTube and TikTok.

According to Tokboard, a site that aggregates usage trends on the platform, Running Up That Hill is the third most popular song used on TikTok boasting more than 1 billion plays.

This spike in popularity is being seen in international charts too. The song is also number one in New Zealand, Switzerland and Sweden – and it’s well on its way in other countries. Running Up That Hill is currently listed at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Official UK Singles Chart.

This is the first time one of Bush’s singles has cracked the top 10 in the US. And it’s the song’s best performance in the UK, after peaking at number three back in 1985. (It previously peaked at number six in Australia).

One of Bush’s song most iconic songs, Wuthering Heights, did take sit out at number one on the Kent Music Report, a precursor to the modern ARIA charts, for three weeks back in 1978, but in the era of ARIA this is the first time the singer has reached the milestone.

In a statement on her website, Bush has called the resurgence “utterly brilliant” and said she’s taken aback by the speed in which it’s all happening.

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“The response to Running Up That Hill is something that has had its own energy and volition,” she wrote. “[It shows] a direct relationship between [TV] shows and their audience and one that has stood completely outside of the music business.”

It’s not uncommon for TV shows and movies to resurrect old songs in the charts – and it’s not a new phenomenon either. This is what happened when Bohemian Rhapsody was featured in Wayne’s World and when Lust for Life soundtracked the opening of Trainspotting. Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing has been revived various times through The Sopranos, The X Factor, Laguna Beach and Glee.

But the trend has more recently been compounded and accelerated by TikTok, where fans can not only discover (or re-discover) music but easily soundtrack their own creative works with it and share them too.

In 2020, one viral video on the platform was enough to catapult Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 hit Dreams back into the charts. With both a prime spot in a Netflix series plus one million TikTok videos and counting, Kate Bush might be the first artist from an older generation to get the best of both worlds.

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