Bette Midler’s First Performance At OscarsBy: Mike Tuttle - February 20, 2014
On Wednesday, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced that the legendary two-time Oscar-nominated actress and multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Bette Midler is set to perform for the first time on the Oscars this year.
“We are thrilled to have Bette perform on the Oscars for the very first time,” said Zadan and Meron. “We believe she will make our Oscar telecast an especially moving evening.”
Organizers have said that “the Divine Miss M” will make an “especially moving” contribution to the awards next month, though when in the show she will sing and her choice of music has not been announced.
The 68-year old singer and actress opened her Twitter page for suggestions on Wednesday.
In 1974, Midler won a Grammy for Best New Artist. She also won in 1981 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and again in 1990 for Record of the Year.
In 1979, she received an Oscar nomination for her role in The Rose and also in 1991 for For the Boys. She won two Golden Globe Awards in 1992 and 1994 for For the Boys and Gypsy.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1945, Midler grew up in one of the few Jewish families in the area. She attended Radford High School where she was voted “Most Dramatic” in her 1963 senior class. After three semesters at the University of Hawaii, she dropped out and earned money as an extra in the 1966 film, Hawaii, which funded her move to New York City.
In the city, she appeared off and on Broadway. Then in 1970 she began singing in a gay bathhouse called the Continental Baths. It was during this time that she became close to her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow, and began to develop a core following.
During the release of her 1998 album, “Boathouse Betty,” Midler said, “Despite the way things turned out [with the AIDS crisis], I’m still proud of those days. I feel like I was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, and I hope I did my part to help it move forward. So, I kind of wear the label of ‘Bathhouse Betty’ with pride.”
The 2014 Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2 on ABC.
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