First released by Roger Whittaker (1982).
Also recorded by Sheena Easton (1982)
Hit versions by Colleen Hewett (AUS #52 1982), Lou Rawls (US #65/MOR #10/R&B #60 1983), Gladys Knight & The Pips (as “Hero (Wind Beneath My Wings)” US #104/MOR #23/R&B #64 1983), Gary Morris (C&W #4/CAN #10 1983), Bette Midler (US #1/UK #5/AUS #1/NZ #4 1989).
From the wiki: “Wind Beneath My Wings’ (sometimes titled ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’ and ‘Hero’) was written in 1982 by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley. They recorded a demo of the song, which they gave to publisher and songwriter (and one-time Buddy Holly cohort) Bob Montgomery (‘Heartbeat‘, ‘Love’s Made a Fool of You‘, ‘Misty Blue‘).
“Silbar recalls, ‘It was on a Friday that we gave a tape of our demos to Bob Montgomery. Then when we saw Bob on Monday, he immediately told us he loved ‘Wind Beneath My Wings.’ Then he had a surprise for us. He played us a beautiful, ballad version of the song that he had recorded over the weekend. We couldn’t believe how fantastic it sounded. We both had tears in our eyes. Bob had taken our rough, midtempo demo and produced a new version which truly showed the potential of the song.” who, then, recorded his own demo version of the song – changing it from the mid-tempo version he was given to a ballad.’
“Silbar and Henley then shopped the song to many artists, eventually resulting in Roger Whittaker becoming the first to release the song commercially. It appeared on his 1982 studio album, also titled The Wind Beneath My Wings. It was also recorded by Australian artist Colleen Hewett in 1982, becoming a minor local hit in 1983.
“Sheena Easton’s version appeared on her 1982 studio album Madness, Money & Music, though it was not released as a single by her record company. She did, however, perform it on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show, her HBO live concert special, and her NBC television special.
“Singer Lou Rawls was the first to score a major hit, in 1983, with the song, as his version peaked at #10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Gladys Knight & The Pips also released a recording of the song in 1983 under the title ‘Hero (Wind Beneath My Wings)’ that charted MOR and R&B in 1983. Singer Gary Morris released an arrangement of the song in 1983 that charted highest on any of the Billboard music charts that year, and also later won both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association awards for Song Of The Year.
“‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ was recorded by Bette Midler in 1989 for the soundtrack of the film Beaches and became a US #1 single. It was named Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1990. The song also became a worldwide hit.”
Colleen Hewett, “Wind Beneath My Wings” live TV performance (1982):
Sheena Easton, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1982):
Gary Morris, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1983):
Lou Rawls, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1983):
Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Hero (Wind Beneath My Wings)” (1983):
Bette Midler, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1989):