Syracuse Herald December 18, 1998 New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom wasn’t big enough for dueling divas Bette Midler and Cher on Friday night. The Divine Miss M dissed a tardy, lip synching Cher as “someone who used to be famous, ” according to witnesses at the Miracle On 34th Street concert. The latest flare up between the two superstars was sparked by Cher, who, due to sing first, appeared a half hour late. Apparently she had been getting her face retooled by make up artist Kevin Acoin, but Midler’s camp suspected her dramatic entrance was deliberate. Bette’s people didn’t appreciate it, said one backstage source. Midler did seem to get a kick watching Cher mouthing the words to three recorded tracks from her new album. When Midler took center stage with her musicians and her back-up singers, The Harlettes, she told her soundman. “start my tracks” Â She quickly informed the audience that was a joke. “No, I sing live! I don’t need tracks!” she said. Midler also added that in contrast to the other situation with the previous camera shy entertainer, photographers were welcome to take as many pictures of her as they liked. “I’m a star,” witnesses heard her say, “I’m not someone who used to be famous, and it trying to become famous again.” A spokeswoman for Midler, who preceded to burn down the house with five songs, vouched that her client made the lip synching remark but insisted she never delivered the second part of the dig. The sold out show was hosted by Jennifer Lopez, who apparently forgot to put on any underwear.