Inside the reclusive life of Kate Bush

Inside the reclusive life of Kate Bush

Kate Bush’s VERY unstarry life: Singer is set to boost her £47 million fortune after Running Up That Hill shot to number one again – but you’ll find her checking in on ailing neighbours and chatting to the postman

  • Kate Bush, 63, lives a reclusive life in Oxfordshire with partner of 30 years
  • Singer’s public appearances are few and far between, she was last seen in 2014 
  • Broke silence earlier after Running Up That Hill featured on Stanger Things 
  • Told Woman’s Hour the ‘world’s gone man’ after song went to  number 1 

She’s currenty number one in the UK charts, and in serveral other countries around the world, and is worth an estimated £47million, but elusive pop singer Kate Bush is more likely to be found poppping in on ailing neigbours and chatting to the postman than doing anything to celebrate her latest wave of success. 

The 62-year-old star, who is notorious for avoiding the limelight, has been firmly thrust back into it again this month after the fourth series of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Thing propelled her to the top of the charts for the first time in 37 years.

After Running Up That Hill featured in episode four of the latest season, she won over a whole new generation of Gen Z fans, and for those who have been supporting her since the 70s, it’s prompted the singer to break serveral years of silence. 

Bush, who has been a fan of the sci-fi series since it debuted in 2016, told Woman’s Hour the world had gone ‘mad’ and that she was moved by the ‘extraordinary’ reaction to the song during an interview on yesterday’s programme. 

It was the first time Kate’s voice was heard publicly in years, possibly since her 2014 gigs at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, but fans are likely to be disappointed if they think it marks a return to public life for the singer.

Kate, who has sold almost seven million records does a great job at keeping her private life under wraps, and lives a simple life in her £6.4 million Oxfordshire pile, where she pops to her neighbours, asks about their health and still signs the odd autograph. 

Her partner of 30 years, guitarist and music producer Dan McIntosh, is as discreet as Kate, and while the pair had their son Albert McIntosh – known as Bertie – in 1998, his birth was not known until years later when Peter Gabriel let it slip during an interview.

Here FEMAIL dives into the world of Kate Bush, pop’s most mysterious hitmaker.  

Kate Bush’s name is on everyone’s lips this month, thanks to the resurgence of her hit Running Up That Hill, yet the elusive artist, 63, is notorious for avoiding cameras and keeping away from the limelight since her shot to fame 

The fourth series of Netflix’s beloved show Stranger Thing propelled Running Up That Hill to the top of the charts for the first time in 37 years


The Cloudbusting singer has been married to McIntosh since 1998, however, the exact date of their nuptials has not been revealed. 

The pair met in 1993 when McIntosh worked on Kate’s record The Red Shoes Album, and they began to date shortly after that. 

After becoming romantically involved with Bush, McIntosh continued to work on several of her tracks throughout her career, including her 2005 album Aerial, where the singer dedicated the song titled Bertie to their son Albert. 

McIntosh is as discreet as Kate herself, and does not speak to the press. He was last seen on stage in 2014, when he performed during Kate’s Before the Dawn residency. 

Bush is married to guitarist Dan McIntosh, and the pair share a son, Albert ‘Bertie’ McIntosh, who was born in 1998, but was kept hidden from the public for years  

The couple welcomed their son Bertie McIntosh in 1998, however, his birth was kept a secret for years. 

It was Kate’s former rumoured flamed Peter Gabriel who inadvertently revealed she had a son during an interview in the early 2000s. 

Bertie grew up largely out of the limelight, however, Kate sprinkled some information about him in her rare interviews. 

In 2005, in a interview with MOJO magazine, the doting mother revealed there was nothing she wouldn’t do to make her son laugh, including breaking royal protocol. 

She explained that when she told her son that she was going to meet the Queen at an upcoming royal function, little Bertie replied  ‘Mummy, no, you’re not, you’ve got it wrong.’

This prompted the artist to get the idea to ask the Monarch to sign her programme.  

‘Rather stupidly I thought I’d get her to sign my programme. She was very sweet,’ she said. 

‘The thing is I would do anything for Bertie and making an a******* of myself in front of a whole roomful of people and the Queen, I mean..,’ she added. 

Kate’s public appearances and interviews are rare. She was last seen in public in 2014, when she attended the Evening Standard 60th Theatre Awards at the London Palladium Theatre

Kate’s son Bertie, who was born in 1998, appeared on stage during Kate’s Hammersmith Apollo residency, called Before the Done, in 2014, pictured

Bertie was an actor on stage during his mother’s string of performances in 2014, and was rumoured to be considering a career in music himself at the time 

‘But I don’t have a very good track record with royalty. My dress fell off in front of Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust, so I’m just living up to my reputation.’

When she returned with her album Aerial after a 12 years hiatus in 2005, Bush explained she wanted to focus on being a mother to Bertie. 

She also revealed she had become frustrated with the way she was portrayed in the music industry.  

‘It’s difficult to do both. I made a conscious decision early on that my son would come first,’ she told the Weekend Australian at the time. 

The singer received a CBE from the Queen in 2013 at Windsor Castle. She once asked the Monarch for an autograph 

In the MOJO magazine interview, she also went into more detail about what motivated her to take a break from recording.  

‘I was working very hard trying to be an artist, she said, adding: ‘Somehow I just wasn’t being seen as who I was. I was being mistranslated. It was very frustrating.’

‘Originally I had planned to take a year out, to become distant from my music for a while,’ she said, joking the year had turning into a 12-year-hiatus. 

‘Among other things I have spent the last 12 years being a mother. Every mother of a little boy knows how simply being a mother moves you further,’ she said. 

Bertie, who appeared on stage with his mother during her residency at the Hammersmith Apollo when he was 16 in 2014, seems to be as secretive as his parents. 

The 24-year-old, who was poised for a career in music after his Apollo stint, is not present on social media, and little is known of his foray into the music industry since this scene appearance. 


Kate lives a private life in a £6.4million mansion in Oxfordshire, which is hidden away behind a secure gate 

Having perfected the art of coming back to the music industry after extended hiatuses, Kate is as elusive when it comes to her life in Oxfordshire. 

The artist, who owns several properties across the UK, is believed to be living in a £6.4million mansion near a sleepy village.   

Kate and her family are such discreet neighbours they actually earned themselves the reputation of being recluse. 

It is something Kate took an issue with as she discussed her returned to fame in 2005.  

‘I suppose I do think I go out of my way to be a very normal person and I just find it frustrating that people think that I’m some kind of weirdo reclusive that never comes out into the world,’ she said. 

‘Y’know, I’m a very strong person and I think that’s why actually I find it really infuriating when I read, “She had a nervous breakdown” or “She’s not very mentally stable, just a weak, frail little creature'”,’ she added. 

Speaking to Radio France in 2005, the singer added: ‘I’m not reclusive, but just try to live a normal life. And I try to just try to be… a normal person, rather than live the life of someone in the industry. 

‘I don’t think I am weird. I just have a great sense of injustice about that because… I just work,’ she added. 

‘I don’t want to start sounding pompous. But you know, It would be easier for me to live a life of making money and playing the game of being famous, 

The singer, pictured in 1978 in London, said she is frustrated with the fact people think of her as a ‘weirdo’ and a ‘recluse’ in 2005 

‘Because, you know, it is quite hard to just keep working for years and years on something that…you don’t even know if it’s going to be any good at the end of it.’ 

‘I have simply chosen against the lifestyle of the music industry or the world of show-business. Excessive egos, greed for power, greed for money, neuroses, psychoses, sarcasm, cynicism ,’ she told a German newspaper that same year. 

Speaking to the Mail, Bush’s neighbours said her wish of living like a normal person have been exhausted. 

Postman Colin Mildenhall, 67 who delivers to Bush’s home almost every day said: ‘We talk about the garden, the weather and other normal things. She never speaks about her work and I never ask her about it.

‘You would never think that she’s a big star and she doesn’t strike me as the sort of person who’s interested in that sort of stuff. She’s a very quiet person, she hardly ever leaves her home and I’ve never seen her walking around. She goes out to check on some of her neighbours and that’s about it.’

Mildenhall added the artist agreed to give him an autograph and it sign his manager’s book. 

Pensioner Chris, who lives in a cottage opposite the main entrance to Bush’s house with his wife Pam, told MailOnline: ‘She’s been a good friend to us over the years and we’ve been good friends to her.

‘She’s always popping over for a chat and to see how Pam’s doing, because she’s not been well lately. Kate is a lovely person and completely normal. I know her music is becoming popular again, but I’ve never spoken to her about it or asked anything about her career. To us, she’s just a delightful and kind friend and neighbour.’

And in spite of being worth an estimated £30million, the artist revealed in the past she is the one looking after the Oxfordshire house, its laundry and its hoovering.  

‘Friends of mine in the business don’t know how dishwashers work. For me, that’s frightening. I want to be in a position where I can function as a human being,’ she said.

‘Even more so now where you’ve got this sort of truly silly preoccupation with celebrities. Just because somebody’s been in an ad on TV, so what? Who gives a toss’ the artist added.


Running Up That Hill features heavily in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, a sci-fi series about teenagers in 1980s Indiana, as grieving teen Max Mayfield’s (Sadie Sink) favourite song.

The show’s supervisor Nora Felder said she chose the track because it resonated with Max’s pain and loss after the death of her step-brother, Billy. 

Running Up That Hill saves the life of Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) in series four of Stranger Things 

The singer agreed to let the sci-fi show use her song because she has been a huge fan of the series since it started 

‘I think it’s struck a chord for so many people because it really touches on the alienation and emotional struggle that so many of us go through at one point or another in life, especially as teenagers,’ she told US journalists.

Felder approached Bush for permission to use it, but was nervous about the response because of the singer’s reputation for being fussy how her music is used.

As it turned out, she was already a fan of the drama and happily consented.

Nearly a month after the show’s fourth series’ release, Running Up That Hill struck a chord with younger listeners and generated new fame for the singer, with magazines running headlines like ‘Gen Z Has Finally Discovered Kate Bush,’ and ‘Is Kate Bush playing at Glastonbury?’

The song is topping the charts, giving Kate her first number one spot in 37 years. 

Speaking of the beloved track, Bush told Woman’s Hour yesterday: ‘It’s just extraordinary. I thought that the track would get some attention. But I just 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,’ she added. 


 The 19-year-old doctor’s daughter from suburban Bexleyheath, south-east London, burst onto the music scene in 1978 with her haunting, ethereal song Wuthering Heights.

Before breaking into the charts, the singer-songwriter was considered a child prodigy. She taught herself to play the piano aged 11, then the organ and violin and, by her mid-teens, had composed more than 200 songs.

At 14, Bush was spotted by Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour, who helped her get a record deal.

But her sudden fame with a debut Number One saw her uncomfortably labelled a ‘sex bomb’, as she writhed on stage in a skin-tight leotard.

Over the course of her career, she has toured just twice, in 1979 and 2014 and has only put out two collections of new material in the last 28 years. During her sell-out concerts of 2014 she asked fans not to film her on their mobile phones as she found it ‘intrusive.’

Despite enjoying huge popularity, Bush is seldom seen at industry events, rarely gives media interviews and in 2012, she turned down an opportunity to perform at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. A year later, she appeared uneasy receiving a CBE from the Queen.

Wuthering Heights, Bush’s most successful song, propelled her to international stardom and a multi-million fortune but over subsequent years, she has steadily closeted herself away.

During one of her rare interviews in 2005 she admitted: ‘I am just a quiet reclusive person who has managed to hang around for a while.’

As her biographer Graeme Thomson was reported as saying: ‘She has spent the past 30 years backing away. Her career has been an incremental process of withdrawal.’

Bush’s withdrawal from public life is believed to have started as a response to grief that she suffered in the early 1990s. Her guitarist and friend Alan Murphy died of Aids in 1989, just as her sixth album, The Sensual World, was released.

Then, in 1990, a dancer she worked closely with, Gary Hurst, also died of Aids. Two years later, her mother Hannah succumbed to cancer.

She became so guarded about her private life that news of her son’s birth in 1998 only emerged publicly five years later when her friend, singer Peter Gabriel blurted out ‘Kate’s a mum now’ during a TV interview.

Becoming a mother also led to Bush becoming sensitive about her weight, which came to light when she brought out the album Aerial in 2005, which was critically acclaimed.

Director Jimmy Murakami, who shot the video for the album’s single King Of The Mountain, told her biographer Mr Thomson: ‘I thought she looked fabulous, but she kept bringing up her weight. I told her she looked lovely. You can’t go back to your teenage days, and to me she still looked very good.’

This isn’t the first time that Bush has recruited a new generation of young fans. Last year her 1980 single Babookshka went viral on TikTok and was harnessed in thousands of videos.

Running Up That Hill features heavily in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, a sci-fi series about teenagers in 1980s Indiana, as grieving teen Max Mayfield’s (Sadie Sink) favourite song.

The show’s supervisor Nora Felder said she chose the track because it resonated with the Max’s pain and loss.

‘I think it’s struck a chord for so many people because it really touches on the alienation and emotional struggle that so many of us go through at one point or another in life, especially as teenagers,’ she told US journalists.

Felder approached Bush for permission to use it, but was nervous about the response because of the singer’s reputation for being fussy how her music is used.

As it turned out, she was already a fan of the drama and happily consented.


The artist said she was particularly touched by the fact the show had earned her new, younger fans, who were discovering her for the first time.  

She also added she felt the way the show had used her music in the series was ‘touching.’  

Celebrating her song peaking at number one, Kate wrote on her website last week: ‘I’m overwhelmed by the scale of affection and support the song is receiving and it’s all happening really fast, as if it’s being driven along by a kind of elemental force. 

‘I have to admit I feel really moved by it all. Thank you so very much for making the song a number one in such an unexpected way.’

Wende Crowley of Sony Music Publishing, revealed Bush was showed how her music would be used in the series, and gave them permission to use Running Up That Hill because she was already a fan of Strange Things. 

She told Variety: ‘Kate Bush is selective when it comes to licensing her music and because of that, we made sure to get script pages and footage for her to review so she could see exactly how the song would be used.’

After the first part of the fourth series of the sci-fi show was released on Netflix in late May, Kate wrote a message of thanks on her website,’ she wrote. 

‘You might’ve heard that the first part of the fantastic, gripping new series of “Stranger Things” has recently been released on Netflix. 

‘It features the song, “Running Up That Hill” which is being given a whole new lease of life by the young fans who love the show – I love it too,’ she said at the time. 

Since then, Running Up That Hill has been propelled to number one spot on the Official Single Charts. 


In spite of being one of the UK’s most beloved artists and having been awarded a CBE by the Queen for her contribution to British culture in 2013, Bush also only completed one tour in her career in 1979, and took a 35-year break between then and her next live show in 2014. 

She told Weekend Australian in 2005: ‘If you give a show, I feel it should have visual elements.’ 

Kate performed live for the last time in 2014 at the Hammersmith Apollo and the performance was turned into a live album 

The artist in 2002 at the Royal Academy of Arts during the Queen’s Jubilee. At the time, Kate had not released an album in nine years 

That same year, she told the Toronto Star: ‘I never consciously gave up touring,” she explains. ‘I only did just one, in 1979 and 1980, and I think other people gave up on me. 

‘I remember it as a fantastic experience, like being on the road with a circus. We’re working on some ideas about doing some shows to promote this album, but it’s early days,’ she added. 

In 2016, she explained her lack of touring wasn’t due to the fact she didn’t like being on stage. 

‘It wasn’t designed that way, because I really enjoyed the first set of shows we did,’ she said. ‘The plan at the time was that I was going to do another two albums’ worth of fresh material, and then do another show. 

‘But of course, by the time I got to the end of what was The Dreaming album, it had gone off on a slight tilt, because I’d become so much more involved in the recording process,’ she said. 

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