Bette Midler (born December 1, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and comedian. Throughout her career which spans over five decades, Midler has received numerous accolades, including four Golden Globe Awards, three Grammy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Tony Awards, in addition to nominations for two Academy Awards and a British Academy Film Award.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several off-off-Broadway plays, prior to her engagements in Fiddler on the Roof and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. She came to prominence in 1970 when she began singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following. Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist, selling over 30 million records worldwide, and has received four Gold, three Platinum, and three Multiplatinum albums by RIAA. Many of her songs became chart hits, including her renditions of “The Rose”, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, “Do You Want to Dance”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, and “From a Distance”. She won Grammy Awards for Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “The Rose”, and Record of the Year for “Wind Beneath My Wings”.
Midler made her film debut with the musical drama The Rose (1979), which won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She went on to star in numerous films, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Big Business (1988), Beaches (1988), Hocus Pocus (1993), The First Wives Club (1996), The Stepford Wives (2004), Parental Guidance (2012), and The Addams Family (2019). Midler also had starring roles in For the Boys (1991) and Gypsy (1993), winning two additional Golden Globe Awards for these films and receiving a second Academy Award nomination for the former.
In 2008, Midler signed a contract with Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for a residency, Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On, which ended in 2010. She starred in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, which began previews in March 2017 and premiered at the Shubert Theatre in April 2017. The show was her first leading role in a Broadway musical. Midler received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance.
While several greatest hits albums with Midler had been released in the UK, Continental Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan throughout the 1970s and 1980s, such as The Best of Bette (1978) and The Best of Bette (1981)—two different compilations with the same title—and Just Hits (1987), this was the first career overview to be released worldwide including the US and Canada, some twenty years after Midler recorded her first studio album for the Atlantic Records label. The album included one new recording, Midler’s Emmy Award-winning rendition of “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”, sung to retiring talk show host Johnny Carson on the penultimate Tonight Show in May 1992. Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits peaked at #50 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 1993 and was three years later certified platinum for one million copies sold in the US. Released June 22, 1993.
“Hello in There” 4:17
“Do You Want to Dance?” 2:44
“From a Distance” 4:37
“Chapel of Love” 2:53
“Only in Miami” 3:57
“When a Man Loves a Woman” 4:42
“The Rose” (Single version) 3:40
“Miss Otis Regrets” 2:39
“Shiver Me Timbers” (Live version) 4:42
“Wind Beneath My Wings” 4:52
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” 2:19
“One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” (Live) 4:06
“In My Life” (Single version) 3:12
Bette Midler – compilation producer
Arif Mardin – compilation producer