Broadway has crowned its new queen at the 2017 Tony Awards

By Ale Russian
June 11, 2017 11:07 PM
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Broadway has crowned its new queen!

Bette Midler won the 2017 Tony Award for best actress in a musical Sunday night for her spectacular performance in Hello, Dolly! The win came in the midst of a stiffly competitive category featuring veterans and newcomers alike — and a few legendary faces.

“I’m so privileged, I’m s0 honored,” the legendary performer said in her speech, which marked her first-ever non-special Tony win. “I hope I don’t cry. Thank you to the Tony voters, many of whom I’ve actually dated…I’m so grateful for the outpouring of love and affection — I can’t remember the last time I had so much smoke blown up my a–, but there’s no more room.”

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The actress gave a hilarious speech littered with bleeped out words before telling the orchestra playing her off the stage to “shut that crap off.”

2017 Tony Awards - Show
Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty

Nominated this year in the category were Denée Benton for Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Christine Ebersole for War Paint, Patti LuPone for War Paint and Eva Noblezada for Miss Saigon.

While Midler had previously won a special Tony Award back in 1974, the legendary actress had never won in an acting category before.

Credit: Julieta Cervantes

The musical follows Dolly as a widow in her middle years who has decided to begin her life again. Midler last hit Broadway for the hit one-woman play I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers in 2013. She made her Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof in 1966 and went on to have an iconic career both on the stage and off.

FROM COINAGE: The Tony Awards by the Numbers

Click here to see all of PEOPLE’s Tony Awards coverage, including everything you need to know about the big night and the full list of nominees.

Cynthia Erivio’s captivating performance in The Color Purple earned her a win in this category last year, rounding out the most diverse crop of winners in the musical category in Tony’s history with all four being African-American.