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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 March, 2005, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Singer Midler blasts miming divas
Bette Midler in Australia
Midler criticised singers who lip-synched onstage
Singer and actress Bette Midler has hit out at modern female pop singers, calling them "characterless".

Midler, 59, criticised modern singers for lip-synching on stage.

"It's a strange time, I don't want to say it's the dark ages for music but it's not such a great time," she told reporters in Australia.

She said: "It's kind of hard to tell the characters apart." Midler is in Australia for her first tour there for 26 years.

'Im not retiring'

Midler's latest show features her singing alongside a horn section. She said she would never lip-synch her way through performances, a charge she has levelled at younger singers.

"I just can't do that... I guess because I came up singing and dancing at the same time, to me it's not so frightening, for a lot of kids it is, for the younger ones it's scary," she said.

Asked is she was thinking about an end of her performing career, she said: "I'm not retiring, and you can't make me."

Midler also dismissed rumours she was set to appear opposite Britney Spears in a film called In the Pink.

"Oh, that'll never happen," she said, saying the film had not been put into development.

Midler, a cabaret and musical stalwart, has appeared in films such as Beaches and Ruthless People.

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