Women in Music 2016
Bette Midler Sings TLC's 'Waterfalls': Listen
Midler's take on TLC is no scrub.
Bette Midler released her cover of TLC's hit “Waterfalls,” which slows the track’s tempo and strips down its famous production in favor of a piano and a soft drum beat echoing in the background. (A spoiler, though: Midler’s track omits Left Eye’s iconic rap verse. We’ll have to wait another day to hear Midler ask, “Who’s to blame for tootin ‘caine into your own vein?”)
“Waterfalls” previews Midler’s upcoming album, It’s the Girls!, a covers tribute album to the girl groups that inspired Midler. The artists selected span seven decades, including The Andrews Sisters, Martha & The Vandellas, and The Boswell Sisters.
“‘Waterfalls’ was a heartbreaker, especially if you were a mom, and it had a big effect on me,” Midler said. “I never thought I would have the nerve to sing it, but we had an idea for it that works, and I am so glad I took the chance.”
Midler’s cover also sparked high interest on Twitter. Just a few hours after the song’s release, the track generated enough activity to sprint to No. 5 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140.
If Midler wants her “Waterfalls” to climb as high as the TLC original, though, she has a lot of work to do. TLC’s version topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in July – August 1995 and helped parent album CrazySexyCool – which celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2014 - achieve diamond certification, according to the RIAA.
With the release of It’s the Girls!, Midler is the second songstress to release a female-driven covers album this year. On Oct. 21, Aretha Franklin released Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, containing renditions of hits such as “At Last” and “Rolling in the Deep.”
It’s The Girls! marks Midler’s first new album since 2006. The set will be released Nov. 4 in the United States and Nov. 17 in the U.K.