A Minute With: Bette Midler on New Year TV special

Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:36am EST
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By Jill Jacobs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - She has received four Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, and a Tony Award, and even after selling more than 30 million records, singer Bette Midler is still going strong.

For over 40 years, Midler has delighted audiences with her bawdy live performances, and on December 31, Midler will be ringing in the New Year on cable TV channel HBO with her special, "The Showgirl Must Go On," which is the live stage show she has been performing in recent years at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The special was taped in front of a packed house at Caesars. Midler, known as "The Divine Miss M," dons elaborate costumes and sings some of her best-known hits including "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" with her back-up singers, The Harlettes, and a 13-piece band.

Reuters spoke to Midler about the TV special, why being environmentally green is common sense and her love of books.

Q: How did you get in such great shape for the show?

A: "A year before we even started rehearsals, I started doing my warm-ups, getting on the treadmill again and lifting weights. It's fascinating to get on stage and run for an hour and a half, wringing wet at the end. And I loved every minute of it."

Q: You've had such a long and successful career. What do you think is the key to your success?

A: "I don't do everything that comes my way and I tend to do things in spurts. I'll be really busy and then just collapse, take a break for a year or two and then come roaring back. I'm not sure if that's how you achieve longevity, but I tend to sift through things and make sure they are things I really want to do."   Continued...

<p>Singer Bette Midler performs in New York October 21, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>