There are many Hollywood friendships that nobody understands, and the connection between Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Bette Midler is one of them. Midler may be best known today as Winifred Sanderson in the classic film Hocus Pocus and its 2022 sequel Hocus Pocus 2, but before that she had already made a name for herself on stage, television and in many films. She’s won three Emmys, four Golden Globes, two Tonys, and two Oscar nominations under her belt (via IMDb). And like 50, Midler has also released a number of albums. Aside from her creative pursuits, Midler is known to be active on social media, where her comments have drawn serious criticism.
50 Cent, on the other hand, is best known for his work in the music industry, but the two have more in common than you might think. Outside of his rap career, 50 Cent has done quite a bit of acting, with an Emmy Award — as has Midler — to show it off. One of the differences between the two, of course, is the type of music they have created. While Midler found success in traditional pop, 50 has been dubbed the “king of hip-hop,” but that didn’t stop the two from forming an unlikely society.
Bette Midler’s friendship with 50 Cent is rooted in community service
While Bette Midler and 50 Cent’s friendship is a bit out of left field, their connection makes sense when you look at where they call home. According to People, Midler, who returned to New York City in 1994, opened a new community garden in Queens in 2008. Because of 50 Cent’s involvement, she named the space “The Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson Community Garden”. Midler told the magazine that she “called and bugged” the rapper because he would get involved in the project since it was his childhood home in Jamaica, Queens.
“I wish I could have achieved that growing up here,” the rapper said of the new garden, adding, “The opportunity to create this garden for the youth and community is awesome.” He also recalled remember that when Bette calls, you don’t say ‘no.’ Not if you want your reputation to stay the way it is.” The collaboration sparked a friendship between the two and a desire to work together on similar projects in the future.
That opportunity came sooner rather than later. Bette Midler and 50 Cent teamed up again in 2009 to help restore Fort Tryon Park in New York City, according to the New York Daily News. The restoration of New York City’s parks has been a long-standing concern of Midler. Per Variety, Midler saw the terrible state of public parks after she returned to the Big Apple in the ’90s and founded the New York Restoration Project in 1995. For his help with the project, Midler said 50 Cent was “like the godfather of Jamaica, Queens.”
Will 50 Cent and Bette Midler collaborate on music?
According to Variety, Midler’s nonprofit restoration project has helped plant 1 million trees, restore 80 acres of parkland, and protect 110 community gardens, including the Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Community Garden, which the two unveiled in 2008. Though the pair have not publicly collaborated since their stint together at Fort Tryon Park in 2009, they have remained friends and have shared their mutual admiration on social media. In 2014, 50 Cent shared a throwback photo of the couple on his Instagram with the caption, “Bette [Midler] is on my list of my favorite people in the world.” Midler echoed the sentiment a few years later, tweeting, “#TBT when the always handsome @50Cent and I were all the talk about the city and Page Six,” alongside a photo of the two.
But despite a bond built on service, fans shouldn’t hold their breath for the couple will soon be making music together. “I’d love to work with him, but I’m gone [30 years] older than him. I really can’t rap, but I’d like to sing backing vocals on ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’,'” she told the Daily News in 2009.
For his part, 50 Cent seems more open to the prospect. “Me and Bette [collaborating] would be really hot,” he told the outlet. “But I would have to do something new for her. We would definitely team up for the right song.” While the collaboration hasn’t materialized yet, some fans are still waiting.