FORTY YEARS ago today, I fell in love with Barbra Streisand. I was watching the live telecast of the 1980 Grammy Awards, and suddenly I beheld an unannounced performance of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Neil Diamond and her. It was the most romantic pairing of voices I had ever heard. It was pure. It was electric.
Any moment that jolts you into a new reality becomes an etched presence. That singular performance left me with a new understanding of the term "vocal power" and a profound appreciation of Ms. Streisand's musical artistry. It was the moment I fell under her lifelong thrall.“Barbra Streisand's example has been an exhortation of what excellence in all things can do”
What has it meant for me to be a Barbra Streisand fan? At the heart of it is believing in her uniqueness. No one else comes close to her. Her passion for truthfulness and excellence in her work has been a benchmark in film and music for sixty years. As singer, actress, director, producer, composer, and stand-up citizen, she holds a voluminous list of award-winning, record-breaking credentials. She is a woman of undeniable talent, courage, and inspiration.
Her greatest gift is that voice—a breathtaking sonic cornucopia filled with emotion and intelligence, able to plumb and scale the depths and heights of song in seamless fashion. Long after its industry debut in 1960, this vocal instrument remains the most impeccable in contemporary popular music.
It's been 40 years since that Grammy night. Since then, Barbra Streisand's example has been an exhortation of what excellence in all things can do.