Kate Bush’s frustration at being called ‘weirdo recluse’ – mental health history explained

The Masked Singer: Unicorn contestant performs Kate Bush song

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Bush, whose song Running Up That Hill has been streamed over 465 million times worldwide, has stayed out of sight for most of her career. She went on a 12-year hiatus back in 1993 shortly after the birth of her first son. When Bush did return back in 2005, she stayed away from the stage for a further nine years.

She cited the physical exhaustion of touring as the reason she stopped performing. But, despite her explanation, Bush said people thought she was “some kind of weirdo recluse”. She argued it wasn’t true.

Back in 2005, she said: “I do think I go out of my way to be a very normal person, and I just find it frustrating people think I’m some kind of weirdo reclusive.

“I’m a strong person and I think that’s why I find it infuriating when I read, ‘She’s not very mentally stable, just a weak, frail little creature’,” she told The Guardian.

In more recent interviews, some of her former and current peers have weighed in on the topic of her withdrawal from the spotlight. They also depict her obsession with getting her music perfect.

Speaking about the Wuthering Heights singer before her comeback in 2014, an unspecified former colleague told The Mirror: “Kate is a perfectionist, always has been and always will be.

“As much as she has enjoyed her time out of the spotlight, she knows she needs to get back on stage and share her musicianship to feel truly fulfilled,” she said.

“Even the most innocuous thing has to be just so – in rehearsals, she will go over songs scores of times until she is happy.

“Kate has had the final say on every detail. To say she has been hands-on is an understatement.”

Bush described her own peculiar behaviour in 2011, which included placing a bag of bone-meal – used to fertilise plants – on top of her piano while recording an album.

She told BBC 6 Music: “I noticed that I’d actually written a couple of songs since it had been there, so I thought I’d just leave it there and see if it sped up the process a bit.”

Bush has been open about other areas of her life, such as the effect her mother’s death had on her. The star lost her mother due to cancer back in 1992.

“When your mother dies, you’re not a little girl anymore,” Bush once said.

“I spent a lot of time sleeping. I used to enjoy bad television, like really bad quiz programmes or sitcoms.”

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