The highest-charting version of the song to date was recorded in 1988 by singer and actress
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.
“Wind Beneath My Wings”
has also been recorded by Kerry Ellis, Lee Greenwood, B.J. Thomas, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Sheena Easton, Patti LaBelle, Captain and Tennille, Joe Longthorne, Eddie and Gerald Levert, John Tesh, Judy Collins, Shirley Bassey, RyanDan, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, Sonata Arctica, Chyi Yu, Perry Como, Sergio Franchi, Steven Houghton and Celine Dion, Nancy LaMott, the Mighty Clouds of Joy and R. Kelly. Paloma San Basilio (Spanish version “Gracias a ti”) Lou Rawls sang the song at the nationally-televised 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala on January 19, 1985, the day before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan.
In a 2002 UK poll, “Wind Beneath My Wings” was found to be the most-played song at British funerals.