Bette Midler On Laura Nyro: “In A World Of Imitators, She Was An Original”

Laura Nyro was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the weekend. Nyro, who passed away 15 years ago, was represented by her only child, Gil Bianchini (following a mini-controversy: at first he wasn’t going to be invited to the ceremony).

Bette Midler, who said she started out as a fan of Nyro’s before actually meeting her, gave a rousing speech, mentioning that Nyro embodied the spirit of New York City in the ’70s, joking that in that era, NYC was even more of a dump than Cleveland. She admired Nyro’s uncompromising spirit, noting, “She embodied what everyone in our line of work could be, if they only had the guts,” welling up with tears.

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Bianchini, a hip-hop artist who has gone by the name Gil-T, seemed grateful and mentioned that her fans often tell him that she helped them to overcome their fears.

It was rumored that Midler would perform a Nyro song, but instead, singer-songwriter Sarah Bareilles took to the stage to play “Stoney End.”

It’s ironic that last year, during Midler’s speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony (for Darlene Love), she quipped that she was doing it so that if anyone ever Googled “Bette Midler” and “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” there would actually be a result. Her speeches in the last two years, though, would lead one to expect that she’ll keep getting invites: even if it is just as a presenter and not as an inductee.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local

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