"Wind Beneath My Wings" (sometimes titled "The Wind Beneath My Wings" and "Hero") is a song written in 1982 by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley.
The song was first recordedby Kamahl in 1982 for a country and western album he was recording. Kamahl talked about being the first to record the song in an appearance on Australian TV show Spicks and Specks but stated it was not commercially released because it was felt he did not suit the country and western style. Instead, Roger Whittaker recorded the song, as well as Sheena Easton and Lee Greenwood. The song appeared shortly thereafter in charted versions by Colleen Hewett (1982), Lou Rawls (1983), Gladys Knight & the Pips (1983), and Gary Morris (1983).
The highest-charting version of the song to date was recorded in 1988 by singer and actress Bette Midler for the soundtrack to the film Beaches . This version was released as a single in early 1989, spent one week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in June 1989, and won Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year in February 1990. On October 24, 1991, Midler's single was also certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of one million copies in the United States. In 2004 Midler's version finished at No. 44 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. Perry Como recorded the song for his final studio album Today , released by RCA Records in 1987. Como wanted "Wind Beneath My Wings" released as a single, but RCA refused; Como was reportedly so angry, he vowed to never record for RCA Records ever again.
In a 2002 UK poll, "Wind Beneath My Wings" was found to be the most-played song at British funerals.
Silbar and Henley recorded a demo of the song, which they gave to musician Bob Montgomery. Montgomery then recorded his own demo version of the song, changing it from the mid-tempo version he was given to a ballad. Silbar and Henley then offered the song to many artists, which eventually resulted in Roger Whittaker becoming the first to release the song commercially. It appears on his 1982 studio album, also titled The Wind Beneath My Wings.
The song was shortly thereafter recorded by Australian artist Colleen Hewett and released by Avenue Records in 1982. Hewitt's recording became the first version of the song to be issued as a single and to appear on a national chart, peaking at #52 on Australia's Kent Music Report chart.
The first year "Wind Beneath My Wings" appeared on music industry trade publication charts in the United States was 1983. Singer Lou Rawls was the first to score a major hit with the song, as his version peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, No. 60 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart, and No. 65 on the main Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Gladys Knight & The Pips also released a recording of the song in 1983 under the title "Hero". Their version peaked at No. 64 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart while also reaching No. 23 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
Singer Gary Morris released a country version of the song in 1983. Morris's version of the song peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart and later won both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association awards for Song of the Year. Kenny Rogers released his version of the song in 1996 as part of the Vote for Love album.[ citation needed ]
In 1997 the song was recorded by actor Steven Houghton, reaching no. 3 on the UK Singles Chart on November 17, 1997.[ citation needed ]
Idina Menzel sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" as a duet with Kristen Bell at her successful audition for the 2013 film Frozen .She sang it again for the 2017 film Beaches , a remake of the same film in which Bette Midler's version of the song debuted.
|"The Wind Beneath My Wings"|
|Single by Lou Rawls|
|from the album "When the Night Comes'|
|Format||45 RPM single|
|Songwriter(s)||L. Henley, J. Silbar|
|Lou Rawls singles chronology|
Lou Rawls was the first to land the song on the chart in the US.The up-tempo version by Rawls was released in March 1983 on Epic 34-03758. It was backed with "Midnight Sunshine". It appeared on his album, When the Night Comes. It spent six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and on April 16, 1983, it peaked at no. 65. It also got to no. 60 on the R&B chart. Rawls once performed a twelve-minute live version of the song at a concert in Elgin, Illinois.
|Billboard Adult Contemporary||10|
|Billboard Hot Black Singles||60|
|Billboard, Hot 100||65|
|"The Wind Beneath My Wings"|
|Single by Gary Morris|
|from the album Why Lady Why|
|B-side||"The Way I Love You Tonight"|
|Released||August 6, 1983|
|Songwriter(s)||Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar|
|Gary Morris singles chronology|
"Wind Beneath My Wings" was recorded by American country music artist Gary Morris and reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It was named Song of the Year by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
|US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard )||4|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||10|
|"Wind Beneath My Wings"|
|Single by Bette Midler|
|from the album Beaches: Original Soundtrack Recording|
|Format||CD single, cassette single|
4:54 (album and 7" version)
|Songwriter(s)||Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar|
|Bette Midler singles chronology|
"Wind Beneath My Wings" was performed by Bette Midler for the soundtrack of the film Beaches and became a US number-one single. It was named Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1990. The song became a worldwide hit; it charted at No. 5 in the UK, No. 2 in Iceland, No. 4 in New Zealand, and No. 1 in Australia. Midler performed the song, with the fictional character Krusty the Clown, on season 4 episode 22 of The Simpsons in 1993. In the days following the September 11 attacks in 2001, she performed the song live at the Prayer for America memorial service held at Yankee Stadium.In 2014, Midler performed the song following the annual in memoriam montage at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014.
AllMusic editor Heather Phares said that Midler turned this "inspirational love song" into "an epic pop song". She also noted Midler's "demonstrative interpretation".Stephen Holden from The New York Times noted in his review of the Beaches soundtrack, that "one is reminded of just how powerful a pop singer Ms. Midler can be when handed the right song and an arrangement that doesn't constrict her brash, larger-than-life personality." He added that "the most effective numbers are dramatic ballads" like "Wind Beneath My Wings". People Magazine wrote that the song "articulates the movie's theme of enduring friendship, and Midler's heartfelt delivery conveys the message a lot more succinctly and satisfyingly than the film." The Stage noted that the song, "a cabaret favourite for several years now", has been "given a new lease of life because it has been recorded by Bette Midler." John Louie from The Stanford Daily called it a "sweet, melodious ballad".
The music video for "Wind Beneath My Wings" was made in black-and-white. It opens with a light-haired girl meeting a dark-haired girl under the dock on a beach. They befriend each other and walk along the beach together. Occasionally throughout the video, Midler performs on a stage, dressed in a black dress and long curly hair. Her arms are crossed. The girls dances on the beach until the dark-haired finds a long stick, which she writes in the sand with. The light-haired girl continues to dance alone. Toward the end, the dark-haired falls onto the sand and starts digging in it. She finds a doll buried in the sand and pushes it to her chest. As the video ends, the light-haired girl goes beyond the horizon.
7": US (Atlantic 7-88972) 7": UK (Atlantic A8972) 7": Japan (Atlantic PRS-2048) 3": Japan (Atlantic 09P3-6159)
12": UK (Atlantic A8972T) 3": UK (Atlantic A8972CD)
CDM: US (Atlantic PR2615-2) promo
CDM: Germany (Atlantic 756785481-2)
Note: Released in 1996
Bette Midler is an American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer. 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. In a career spanning almost half a century, Midler has won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award. 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. Throughout her career, many of her songs became hits on the record charts, including her renditions of "The Rose", "Wind Beneath My Wings", "Do You Want to Dance", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", and "From a Distance."
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Louis Allen Rawls was an American singer, songwriter, actor, voice actor, and record producer. Rawls released more than 60 albums, sold more than 40 million records, and had numerous charting singles, most notably his song "You'll Never Find Another Love like Mine". He worked as a film, television, and voice actor. He was also a three-time Grammy-winner, all for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
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Lawrence Joel Henley was an American singer and songwriter, best known for co-writing the 1989 hit record "Wind Beneath My Wings."
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Jeff Silbar is a songwriter. Silbar, a native of Los Angeles, won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1990 for co-writing Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" with Larry Henley.