Rita Ora butchers Kate Bush classic in dramatically over-the-top performance and fans are horrified

Kate Bush in the Running Up That Hill music video and Rita Ora performing the song in 2022.

Rita Ora sparked chaos after she destroyed Kate Bush’s iconic ’80s hit “Running Up that Hill” during a live performance.

For almost 40 years, the song existed quietly on the playlists of queer pop fans – but its Stranger Things resurgence now means that pop stars are doing their own versions in a quick bid for kudos.

Rita Ora is the latest in a long line of artists to cover “Running Up That Hill” – and the result is… well, it’s something, anyway.

An extract the song has gone viral on Twitter, which shows Ora unleashing every vocal trick in the book as she tried to spice up her performance at Rock in Rio.

The song ends with Ora throwing herself on the floor – perhaps in shame? – before blowing a kiss to the audience.

Kate Bush fans want a ‘cease and desist’

The reaction on Twitter was instant – gays and Kate Bush fans were confused, hurt, and maybe a little intrigued by Rita Ora’s extremely over-the-top interpretation of the classic song.

Some wanted Kate Bush to personally take legal action against Ora.

People were quick to compare the performance to Fergie’s attempt at the US national anthem – one of the great misfires of our time.

Rita Ora is just the latest in a long line of artists who have attempted to cover Kate Bush – some have fared better than others, but in general, it’s a tall task.

Placebo famously stripped “Running Up That Hill” of all of its meaning and significance with their version of the song. More recently, Kim Petras and Halsey have released their own covers.

“Running Up That Hill” was released as the lead single from Kate Bush’s fifth album Hounds of Love in 1985. For decades, it was the second highest-charting single of her career in the UK – but its inclusion in the fourth season of Stranger Things gave it a new lease of life.

The song’s prominence in the show resulted in it topping the charts in the UK and various other countries. It also cracked the top five in the United States – something Bush had never managed to do before – her career never really took off across the Atlantic.