Kate Bush hasn’t gotten much Grammy recognition: Will this be her year?

Kate Bush“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” is one of the biggest hits of the summer. It holds at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, just behind Monster Hits Lizzo and Harry Styles.

Fans will want to know if there is any way it could get attention when the nominations for the 65th annual Grammy Awards announced on Nov. 15. In addition to being a big hit, “Running Up That Hill” is the kind of record that Grammy voters often respond to — both classic and accessible.



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Bush first released the recording in 1985, so it will not be eligible for record of the year, although a live or alternate recording of it could be. The Recording Academy’s current Grammy rulebook explains: “A song…must have been released on a recording for the first time, or achieved prominence for the first time, during the current eligibility year.”

How did the song fare with Grammy voters in 1985? It wasn’t even nominated, even though it came out quite late in the eligibility year (August 5, 1985, less than two months before the eligibility year ended on September 30). It peaked at No. 30 on the Hot 100 on Nov. 30. That’s not bad, but it’s below the level a record generally required at the time for a nomination in a marquee category.

All five of the 1985 nominees for record of the year were top 10 hits on the Hot 100; three of them were No. 1 hits. Four of the five nominees that year for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female were top five hits on the Hot 100. (Longtime Grammy favorite Linda Ronstadt rounded off the category with Lush lifeher follow up to her smash album What is new.)

Bush has never been a Grammy favorite. She has only received three nominations and has never won. Also, only one of her nominations was for a recording. The other two were for music videos.

Of her 10 studio albums, the only one to receive a Grammy nomination was her sixth album, The sensual world, which earned a 1990 nod for Best Alternative Music Performance. In that, the first year in that category, Bush lost to Sinéad O’Connor to I don’t want what I don’t have.

Bush’s other two nominations were for music videos. “The Whole Story” was nominated for Best Concept Music Video (1987), but lost Genesis“Land of Confusion.” “The Line, The Cross & The Curve” was nominated for Best Music Video, Long-Form (1995), but lost to Peter Gabriel‘s Secret World Live.

Bush and Gabriel had a collaboration, “Don’t Give Up”, on his 1986 album So, which was a contender for album of the year. Under current Grammy rules, Bush would have been nominated as a featured artist on the album, but that was not the case at the time. The only people who received nominations when So was involved in the run-up to this year’s album was Gabriel, as artist and co-producer, and Daniel Lanoisas his co-producer.

The Recording Academy is far more generous today (perhaps to a fault). Grammys for album of the year, all main and featured artists, songwriters of new material, producers, recording engineers, mixers and mastering engineers are awarded. The Grammys draw the line between arrangers and songwriters of sampled or interpolated material, but even they qualify for certificates.

The success of “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” could help propel it forward Stranger Things: Music from the Netflix Original Series, Season 4 for a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. Companion album to the second season of Stranger Things was nominated in this category four years ago but lost out The greatest showman.

Stranger Things: Music from the Netflix Original Series, Season 4 would be the second compilation soundtrack from a television program to win in the following category Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1, who won 10 years ago.

But even if the album wins, Bush probably wouldn’t win. The award in this category generally goes to the compilation producer and music supervisor. It only goes to the artist in the event that the artist dominates the album, which Second day did last year then USA vs. Billie Holiday won in the category. With Stranger Things, each of the 16 tracks on the album was recorded by a different artist. From the current rulebook: “Award to main artist(s) with significant contributing performance and/or in-studio producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album. In the absence of these, awarded to the person(s) proactively responsible for the album’s concept and musical direction and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as appropriate.”

At the rate she’s going, Bush may receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy before she wins a Grammy in the competition. Which, come to think of it, wouldn’t be a bad way to recognize this unique artist and her extraordinary, long overdue hit.

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