Bette Midler's 10 greatest songs ever, ranked

29 December 2021, 15:48 | Updated: 29 December 2021, 16:43

Bette Midler
Bette Midler. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Bette Midler is one of the greatest singers of her generation, if not all time.

The pop icon has won many awards throughout her illustrious career, including three Grammys, three Emmys and two Tony Awards. All she needs is an Oscar and she'll grab the prestigious EGOT (she's been nominated twice).

Alongside her brilliant film career, she has also recorded several hit albums and scored many hits. Here are her biggest songs:

  1. 'You're Movin' Out Today'

    Intermission: You're Moving out Today

    Bette wrote this song with Bruce Roberts and Carole Bayer Sager (who also recorded it), for her album Live at Last in 1977.

    Sager's version proved more popular in the UK, reaching the top 10 the same year.

  2. 'You Don't Own Me' (with Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn)

    The First Wives Club - You Don't Own Me

    Bette, Goldie and Diane sang this excellent cover of Lesley Gore's classic in the 1996 film The First Wives Club.

    It became something of a fan favourite, and was even a minor hit single that year.

  3. 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'

    BETTE MIDLER "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" 1972 HQ

    This song was originally a major hit song for The Andrews Sisters in 1941, and became an iconic World War II tune.

    Bette Midler made her own version in 1972, reaching the top ten in the US. Bonus fact: it was produced by Barry Manilow.

  4. 'Beast of Burden'

    Bette Midler - Beast Of Burden (Official Music Video)

    Another cover, but this time from an unlikely source. The Rolling Stones first recorded this blues rock track in 1978, and Bette gave her own spin on it in 1984.

    Its music video features Bette and Mick Jagger talking in her dressing room before she comes out and performs the song with him on stage. As the song ends, someone throws a pie at Mick, and Bette laughs until she gets hit herself.

  5. 'In My Life'

    Bette Midler In My Life Official Video

    Bette Midler recorded a version of The Beatles' seminal track about love and loss in 1992.

    The song was taken from the film For the Boys, and gave her a modest hit at the time.

  6. I Put a Spell on You

    “I Put A Spell On You” By Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker & Kathy Najimy | Hocus Pocus

    In the beloved comedy movie Hocus Pocus, Bette Midler performed a brilliant version of spooky classic 'I Put a Spell on You' in character as leader Winnie.


  7. 'Do You Want to Dance'

    Do You Want to Dance? (2016 Remaster)

    Originally by Bobby Freeman and later Cliff Richard and The Beach Boys among others, Bette Midler recorded a cover in 1972.

    Taken from her debut album The Divine Miss M, it gave her an early hit in her career.

  8. 'From a Distance'

    Bette Midler - From A Distance (Official Music Video)

    This ballad was written by American singer-songwriter Julie Gold, who was working as a secretary at the time for HBO and writing songs in her free time.

    Her friend, Christine Lavin, introduced the song to Nanci Griffith, who first recorded it in 1987. Three years later, Bette Midler recorded the most famous version.

    It gave Bette one of her biggest ever hits, and she later recorded a Christmas version in 2006.

  9. 'The Rose'

    The Rose - Bette Midler

    Written by Amanda McBroom, Bette Mider made this song famous after recording it for the 1979 film of the same name. However, it was not nominated for an Oscar as it was not specifically written for the movie.

    Westlife and... Conway Twitty also scored hits with versions of the song.

  10. 'Wind Beneath My Wings'

    Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings (Official Music Video)

    This song was recorded by a number of artists before Bette got her hands on it, including Roger Whittaker, Sheena Easton and Gladys Knight.

    But it was Bette's version that turned it into an iconic hit. She recorded it for her tearjerker classic movie Beaches, giving her a US number one and two Grammy Awards.