Del Palmer, Kate Bush's former partner and long-term bassist, dies at 71

8 January 2024, 11:02

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By Mayer Nissim

Del Palmer was an integral part of the Kate Bush sound.

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Del Palmer, a long-term collaborator of Kate Bush, has died at the age of 71.

News of Del's passing was revealed by his niece Debbii Louise Palmer on her personal social media, KateBushNews reports. He died at home on January 5, surrounded by his family.

Del Palmer had been a musical associate of Bush throughout her long career, and was also her romantic partner until the 1990s.

He was part of the KT Bush Band back in 1977, and played bass on a trio of tracks on her second album Lionheart the following year.

Del Palmer and Kate Bush in 1985
Del Palmer and Kate Bush in 1985. Picture: Getty Images

After that, he was an ever-present on all of her records up to and including her last, 50 Words For Snow, in 2011.

He was an engineer on all her albums from 1985's masterpiece Hounds of Love onwards.

Del features on the front cover of 1982's The Dreaming, playing Harry Houdini, with Bush playing Bess Houdini, in reference to the album's penultimate track 'Houdini'.

Kate Bush – The Dreaming
Kate Bush – The Dreaming. Picture: Alamy

Palmer released his solo debut album Leap of Faith in 2007. It was followed by Gift in 2010 and Point of Safe Return in 2015.

While Bush has rarely toured – her 22-date Before The Dawn residency in 2014 marked her first series of shows since 1979 – Palmer had previously joined tribute group Cloudbusting in 2012 alongside past Bush drummer Preston Heyman and dancer Stewart Avon Arnold.

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