“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” is one of those types of songs that sticks with you even from the first time you heard it. Part of it is due to the way she emotionally bigs up the addressee, whom she refers to as her “hero” due to the influence this person has on her life. But closely studying the lyrics reveal that Miss Midler is not doing so in terms of this person inspiring her per se. Rather, the presence of the addressee has been integral to her success. Indeed the idea that the singer is putting forth is that she would not have made it without the support of the addressee. This person even relegated him or herself to the unrecognizable background while she ‘shined’ due to his or her efforts.

So this is a song where the sentiments expressed are based on the person who is relaying them praising the person receiving them, specifically in terms of that person being the ‘wind beneath their wings’. Put differently, it is actually the support of this individual which has enabled the speaker to “almost touch the sky”, as in reach new levels of success. As such, the speaker even ‘thanks God’ for the presence of this person in her life.

Lyrics of "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Did Bette Midler write “Wind Beneath My Wings”?

No. This song was written by Larry Henley (1937-2014) and Jeff Silbar in 1982.

Covers

Throughout the years various artists have released their own renditions of “Wind Beneath My Wings”. Some of them include the likes of the following:

  • Sheena Easton
  • Lou Rawls
  • Gary Morris
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips

That being said, it was Bette Midler’s rendition that proved to be the most-successful.

Bette Midler’s version is part of “Beaches: Original Soundtrack Recording”. Released in 1988, “Beaches” is an American-comedy film which also starred Midler.

When did Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” come out?

Midler’s version of this classic was issued by Atlantic Records on 1 June 1989.

And it was produced by Arif Mardin.

Midler hated the Song

Midler initially disliked the song but was forced to do it by a friend. Listening to her friend’s advice was one of the best things Midler did in terms of the growth of her career. And why? “Wind Beneath My Wings” went on to become one of her most successful songs. Actually it has proven to be the signature song of her musical career.

Accolades of “Wind Beneath My Wings”

The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and also reached number 1 in Australia. Furthermore, it also made it into the top 5 of record charts in Iceland, New Zealand and the UK Singles Chart.

Additionally in 1990 “Wind Beneath My Wings” took home two Grammy Awards in the following distinguished categories:

  • “Record of the Year
  • “Song of the Year

In winning the aforementioned categories, Midler beat the likes of Mike + The Mechanics “The Living Years” and Fin Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy

Notable Live Performance

Bette Midler’s first performance at the Oscars was in 2014, and it was “Wind Beneath My Wings” that she performed.

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