Bette Midler was a local hit as a bathhouse and cabaret singer in New York in the early 1970s. (As her website puts it, "Bawdy humor, revealing costumes and a distinctive voice made for an act that was poignant, tacky, and altogether fabulous.") Her 1972 album, The Divine Miss M, included the hit single "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and won her both a Grammy as best new artist and a national following. In 1979 Bette Midler became a star in the movies as well, earning an Oscar nomination for her performance as a Janis Joplin-like singer in The Rose; the soundtrack album was a hit as well. She later starred in Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986, with Nick Nolte) and Beaches (1988), among other films. She also continued to tour, known as always for her elaborate, high-energy stage productions and her loyal following. Her other films include Hocus Pocus (1993, with Sarah Jessica Parker), The First Wives' Club (1996, with Diane Keaton) and Drowning Mona (2000, with Neve Campbell). In 2008 she began a two-year residency at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, in a show called The Showgirl Must Go On.
Bette Midler also authored a children’s book, The Saga of Baby Divine… Early in Midler’s career, her pianist and musical director was Barry Manilow… Bette Midler’s show at Caesar’s Palace followed the successful five-year run of Céline Dion in the same theater; Dion returned to the theater for another run after Midler’s show ended.