Award winner Kate Bush hits the heights again: Picks up prestigious pop prize for her most recent albumShe beat Adele and PJ Harvey to receive the award which was presented by Sir Tom Jones'Nervous singer' honoured for
critically acclaimed 50 Words For Snow at the South Bank arts awards
06:14 GMT, 2 May 2012
Gone was the big-eyed, waiflike look
that made the teenage Kate Bush a pop pin-up when her first single
Wuthering Heights went to number one in 1978.
it was a more mature singer who made a rare but welcome return to the
spotlight yesterday to receive an award for her last album.
She is famously reclusive after withdrawing from public life in 1998 following the birth of her beloved son.
But yesterday singer Kate Bush made her long-awaited return to the spotlight to collect a prize for her album, 50 Words for Snow.
Proud: Tom Jones presented Kate Bush with her award for the critically acclaimed 50 Words For Snow album
When she took to the stage her russet-coloured locks were gone and in their place was a mane of
dyed jet black hair, leaving fans hard-pressed to recognise her.
Described by one American interviewer recently as now 'more like the
British equivalent of a soccer mom than a Bronte character come to
life', the 53-year-old star still sported her trademark heavy black
Taking the stage at the South Bank Awards to collect her gong from Sir
Tom Jones, Miss Bush, wearing a baggy black dress, admitted that she was
Thanking a list of people who had appeared on the album, the singer paid
tribute Sir Elton John – calling him one of her 'heroes' – as well as
Career: Kate Bush in 1979 when the pop star was in her heyday
Pin-up: Kate Bush first topped the charts with the single Wuthering Heights, released when she was 19-years-old
However, she saved her biggest thanks for her husband, guitarist Danny
McIntosh, and 13-year-old son Bertie, revealing that her teenage son
actually sings on the first track of the album, Snowflake.
The star has praised Bertie, real name Albert, for helping her work,
previously stating: 'I love being a mother, I think it's the best thing
I've ever done, and I personally feel that it's had a very positive
effect on my work.
'I think it's an encouraging force for creativity, it
feeds creativity – it did for me, certainly.'
Miss Bush yesterday joked that this album was one of her quickest to
make – as it only took a year to record, which prompted laughter from
the crowd at London's Dorchester Hotel.
The singer was up against British singing phenomenon Adele and PJ Harvey – but beat them both to win the pop prize.
Sir Tom, 71, said: 'I'm glad she showed up because apparently she
doesn't like the media much and doing these things, but it's nice she
felt this was important enough and it was lovely to see her.'
Captivating: South London born singer songwriter Kate Bush on stage wearing Amazon outfit in 1980, the year she released her album Never for Ever
After retreating from the spotlight, Miss Bush did not release an album for 12 years before releasing Aerial in 2005.
She then released Director's Cut last May, an amalgamation and
re-working of some of the songs from two of her previous albums The
Sensual World and The Red Shoes.
Miss Bush then released a new album 50 Words For Snow last November, which won her plaudits and a BRIT awards nomination.
The singer, who has confessed: 'I don't think I've ever felt part of the
music industry', now divides her time with her family between a house
set on a clifftop in Devon, and another property in Berkshire.
Last year, she told a BBC Radio 4 interview that she would not tour due
to her family commitments, adding: 'I'm sure that things will change, at
the moment my family life is incredibly important to me and it comes
first and my work fits in around it, which is quite easy to do with the
In the rare interview, Miss Bush –
whose other hits included The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Babooshka
and Running Up That Hill – also revealed she has nightmares over performing
She famously only toured once, in 1979, and said: 'I do have the odd
dream where I'm on stage and I've completely forgotten what I'm meant to
be performing – so they are more nightmares than dreams.'
In January, Miss Bush was back in the headlines after an obsessive flew
over from New York to the UK with a 3,000 Tiffany engagement ring and
broke into her home.
American Frank Tufaro was arrested at the star's Devon property on Boxing Day after making his transatlantic flight.
The Daily Mail told how Tufaro had sent Miss Bush a string of emails
proposing marriage and turned up at her home near Kingsbridge, in the
South Hams area.
He had allegedly flown to Exeter from London and spent 240 on a taxi
while directing the driver using satellite co-ordinates he had
downloaded from the internet and cross-referenced with maps.
He was arrested by Devon and Cornwall police and later deported by the UK Border Agency.
Beaming: Kate Bush who started her career in 1979 looked delighted to pick up the award for her new album