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Bette Midler Withdraws in Favor of Rosemary Clooney

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The Associated Press today reported that Bette Midler, who this year received a Grammy nomination for her tribute to Rosemary Clooney, may withdraw her name from the race in favor of the real thing (check out full story below). Rosemary Clooney is nominated in the same category as the Midler for The Last Concert, her last recorded public appearance.

In her lifetime, Rosemary Clooney never received a Grammy Award.

The Last Concert, which captured the “girl singer" with the Honolulu Symphony Pops just months before her passing, features classic performances of the Great American Songbook, along with Rosemary's much loved and quotable “in concert" dialogue. The CD is also the first live recording of her decades-long career. Poignantly, at the end of the recording, Rosemary can be heard saying, “thank you for one of the best nights of my life."

Midler May Withdraw Grammy Nomination
By The Associated Press

For most artists, getting a Grammy Award nomination is a welcome piece of news. Not for Bette Midler , not this year.

In a twist of fate, her CD Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook is up against an actual Clooney album, The Last Concert. The other category nominees are Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett and k.d. lang.

“I'm mortified. I'd really like Rosemary to win that Grammy. I can't believe I'm up against her," Midler told the Boston Globe. “I'm going to look into withdrawing. I just think it's bad form if I won. You know, she never won a Grammy."

According to Grammy historian Craig Bechtloff, it's “probably unprecedented" to have a tribute album and an album by the actual artist in the same category.

Clooney died in June 2002 at age 74 from lung cancer complications.

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