Larry Henley, a songwriter best known for â€œWind Beneath My Wings,â€ died on Thursday in Nashville. He was 77.
His death, after a long illness, was confirmed by Charlie Andrews, his lawyer and business manager.
â€œWind Beneath My Wings,â€ which Mr. Henley wrote with Jeff Silbar, was a No. 1 hit in 1989 for Bette Midler, who sang it in the movie â€œBeaches.â€ Her recording won the Grammy Award for record of the year, and Mr. Henley and Mr. Silbar shared the Grammy for song of the year.
Mr. Henley was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. In a statement, Pat Alger, chairman of the Hall of Fame, praised Mr. Henley for championing the rights of songwriters and noted that he often went to Washington to lobby for their cause.
Born in Arp, Tex., on June 30, 1937, Mr. Henley grew up in Odessa, Tex., and had originally planned on an acting career before becoming a singer and songwriter.
He was a member of the Newbeats, a Louisiana singing group that had a Top 10 hit in 1964 with the infectious â€œBread and Butterâ€ (on which he sang the memorable falsetto part) and toured with the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and others.
Weary of life on the road, Mr. Henley eventually settled in Nashville and pursued a songwriting career. Among the many country hits he co-wrote are Tammy Wynetteâ€™s ” â€˜Til I Get It Rightâ€ and Janie Frickeâ€™s â€œHeâ€™s a Heartache (Looking for a Place to Happen).â€