Bette Midler

Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award

Midler is the legendary multi-Grammy® award-winning artist who for more than forty years has captivated audiences as the “Divine Miss M” on stages around the world. As an award winning actress, producer and comedian, Midler is still going strong as one of the most talented individuals in entertainment. 

“Bette Midler captivated the world early in her long career with her stylish presentation and unmistakable voice, making each song her own, and turning them into pure gold,” commented SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. “It will be our great pleasure to honor her at our Annual Awards Gala with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award honors industry veterans who are acknowledged as pioneers in their craft, whose body of work over time has been substantial, enduring and influential, and whose success and contributions over a lifetime have inspired the music community. Past awardees include Peter, Paul & Mary, Les Paul, Patti LaBelle, Dick Clark, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Neil Diamond, Berry Gordy, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Nat King Cole, Neil Sedaka and Quincy Jones. 

After Midler was discovered by Ahmet M. Ertegun, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records, she recorded her debut album, The Divine Miss M in 1972, a nod to the self-anointed trademark persona audiences fell in love with during her early career performing songs like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and “Superstar” at the famed Continental Baths in New York City. The Divine Miss M went Platinum and hit #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart earning her a Grammy® for Best New Artist in 1973. 

Since her debut album, Midler has released 14 albums, headlined 19 live tours and has sold more than 30 million records worldwide winning numerous awards including a special Tony Award for contribution to Broadway with Clams on the Half Shell Revue in 1973. 

In 1979, Midler made her film debut portraying rock n’ roll singer Janis Joplin in The Rose, which earned her the Golden Globe for Best Actress, an Academy Award nomination, and Grammy® for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1981. “The Rose” was Midler’s first Gold single with the album reaching Double Platinum. It held the #1 position on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart for five consecutive weeks and peeked at #3 on the Hot 100. 

In 1988 Midler starred in Beaches, and received her third Grammy® Award for Record of the Year in 1990 for the accompanying soundtrack, which remains Midler’s all-time bestselling album reaching #2 on Billboard’s Album Chart with U.S. sales of four million copies. It featured the hit “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which went to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and achieved Platinum status. Her follow up Some People’s Lives album in 1990, featured “From A Distance,” the single earned her a Grammy® for Song of the Year in 1991 and reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart and peaked at #2 on Hot 100.

Midler garnered her second Best Actress Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Mark Rydell’s For The Boys in 1991. Additional film credits include: Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Big Business, Scene’s From a Mall, Hocus Pocus, The First Wives Club, The Stepford Wives, Then She Found Me, and The Women. 

In addition to her work on stage and in films, Midler made her mark on television with the Emmy Award-winning CBS special Ol’ Red Hair is Back, and two HBO concerts, Live at Last and Art or Bust. HBO’s concert film Diva Las Vegas, won an Emmy Award for her performance.  In 1992, Midler won a Golden Globe and a National Board of Review Award for her performance in the television adaptation of the musical Gypsy. 

In January 2009 she concluded her critically acclaimed Vegas extravaganza The Showgirl Must Go On at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with more than 200 performances seen by over half-million people in two years. Midler produced the Tony Award-winning musical Priscilla: Queen of the Desert on Broadway in March 2011 and recently finished filming Parental Guidance, a new comedy co-starring Billy Crystal set to be released in theaters in late 2012.