Kate Bush, one of Britain's most unique and innovative singers, was made a CBE by the Queen today and dedicated the honour to her family and musical collaborators.
From precocious teenager, whose first single Wuthering Heights was a number one, to veteran musician who released her award-winning 10th studio album in 2011, her talent has stood the test of time.
But she joked after receiving the honour that the award would now have pride of place - at the top of her Christmas tree.
Bush blazed a trail for female singers when she emerged in the late 1970s as she was a rare performer - a woman who wrote her own songs and controlled her image and career.
Her hits span more than two decades from The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Babooshka and Running Up That Hill to Rocket Man and King Of The Mountain.
And over the years the 54-year-old musician has recorded with a host of artists like Prince, Peter Gabriel, Elton John and Eric Clapton.
The singer guards her privacy closely and has shunned celebrity hangouts and parties for much of her career and rarely gives interviews.
She declined to speak to the waiting press after being made a CBE by the Queen during a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony but issued a short statement.
Bush, who was dressed in dark flowing robes, said: "I feel incredibly thrilled to receive this honour which I share with my family, friends and fellow musicians and everyone who has been such an important part of it all.
"Now I've got something really special to put on top of the Christmas tree."
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