Much like Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," Jeff Silbar and Larry Hensley's inspirational love song "The Wind Beneath My Wings" began its life as a gentle country ballad and became a smash hit when Bette Midler covered it as an epic pop song for the soundtrack to her 1989 family dramedy Beaches. Interestingly enough, this song also jolted Midler's career out of its mid-'80s slump, just as "I Will Always Love You" invigorated Houston's a few years later; the single climbed to the top of the charts and helped sell millions of copies of the film's soundtrack.
While Midler's demonstrative interpretation of "The Wind Beneath My Wings" is now the most commonly known version, country singer Gary Morris sang it first in 1983 on his album Why Lady Why, which is now the only one of his '80s albums still currently in print. Soon after Morris' release came renditions from country and gospel artists like Lou Rawls, Mighty Clouds of Joy, B.J. Thomas, and Willie Nelson, but it wasn't until Midler's cover that the song became a truly mainstream hit. By the '90s, everyone from the Lettermen to Perry Como to Roger Whittaker to Sheena Easton had interpreted the song, and instrumental versions from artists like Nana Mouskouri, Zamfir, James Galway, and Doc Severinsen cemented the emerging-standard status of "The Wind Beneath My Wings," as did its ubiquitous appearances on love song collections, wedding music albums, and movie music compilations.