7 of Bette Midler's greatest songs ever

21 February 2019, 16:06

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 is set to perform a Mary Poppins Returns favourite at the 2019 Oscars, so what better time to celebrate Bette Midler's very best songs of all time?

  1. 'Wind Beneath My Wings'

    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.

  2. 'The Rose'

    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.

  3. 'From a Distance'

    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.

  4. 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'

    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.

  5. 'Do You Want to Dance'

    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.

  6. 'Beast of Burden'

    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.

  7. 'In My Life'

    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.