“Follow Your Heart” Event
June 14, 2012
On a Thursday evening in Malibu, California, Barbra Streisand welcomed nearly 200 people into a beautiful tent set up on the grounds of her home, with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean for the Follow Your Heart Event. Included as speakers or entertainment were special guests President Bill Clinton, singer Josh Groban, composer/arranger David Foster and Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard.
Barbra's Set List:
- That Face
- Evergreen (for Bill Clinton)
- Smile (duet with Josh Groban)
- Here's to Life (with special lyrics by the Bergmans)
The evening benefitted the Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the dedication of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center was announced—a $22-million campaign for research into women's cardiovascular health. “For every woman that dies from breast cancer 10 will die from heart disease,” Streisand said about the topic. “I couldn’t believe that these kinds of statistics exist. Yet so much of the research over the last 50 years has been done by men on men to develop the protocols and diagnostics by which both men and women are treated for heart disease. And women have a different physiology than men.”
Guests, most who paid $100,000 to attend, mingled outside the tent and strolled around the Streisand estate.
For the entertainment part of the evening, Martin Short acted as host. He greeted them by saying, “Welcome one percenters!”
“Barbra, is this Yentl money?,” Short joked. “I especially love how you moved the Pacific to the West. Jim, have you seen the inside yet? It’s beautiful. When there’s a breeze, you can smell the new money in the Palisades.”
“Actually Barbra's a little nervous this evening,” said Short. “She always gets that way whenever she removes the plastic from all the couches.”
Then, in tribute to Barbra, Short shared, “This is one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve been to many, many restaurants with Barbra through the years. It’s amazing to me that she always knows the name of our waitress, everywhere we go. And it’s amazing that they are all named Doll Face.”
At dinner, served at 7:30 pm, and which consisted of “heart healthy” foods, including a salad of watermelon and heirloom tomatoes, Tuscan kale, and pan-roasted barramundi filet, plus vegan choices including a quinoa pasta, Streisand took the stage to speak.
“In honor of President Clinton, we have a vegan option for dinner,” said Streisand, referring to Clinton's changed diet after his battle with heart disease. “And I know what many of you are thinking? You are charging how much?,” she joked. “If you are still hungry, there's a Jack in the Box on your way home.”
Following dinner, more speakers: Streisand about the evening's topic; Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz (the heart center's head); and then Bill Clinton, who was introduced by Lisa Ling. Clinton spoke about heart disease then shared how Barbra had befriended his mother, Virginia Clinton Kelly, during the last year of her life and battle with cancer. “She had 50 weeks exactly to live from the night I was inaugurated president,” he said. “Barbra called her every single one of those weeks until she died. The funny thing is that my mother came to Camp David for Thanksgiving even though she was having two blood transfusions a day. I asked if she was coming back for Christmas and she said, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ I said, ‘What do you mean you don’t know?!’ She said, ‘Barbra’s performing in Vegas and I don’t know if I’ll be back in time.’”
Josh Groban sang “Starry, Starry Night” at the piano.
Then Streisand took to the stage to begin her set of songs, which she rehearsed the evening before (and tried a few variations of). “I look around here in this audience and I see so many wonderful faces,” Streisand said in her patter, “my son, my husband, my friends, David [Foster], President Clinton, and my little furry daughter, Samantha, and I just have to say, [David Foster begins playing on the piano] . . . I love that face . . . ”
Vanity Fair said she cut the song short—“Sorry, my throat is kind of hoarse from yelling, ‘Put the curtain down here. Put the flowers here!’”
Then Streisand dedicated “Evergreen” to Clinton, and sang “Smile” as a duet with Groban.
After Streisand led a champagne toast in which she told the audience to “appreciate the aliveness of each moment,” she performed an encore: “Here's to Life,” with a few altered lyrics supplied by Alan and Marilyn Bergman:
“A woman’s heart beats well tonight / Because of you a woman’s future is looking bright / And it gets even brighter with each check you write / So thanks, with all my heart.”
Husband James Brolin and son Jason Gould; Barbra's manager Marty Erlichman; Jay Landers; Marilyn and Alan Bergman; Josh Brolin and wife Diane Lane; Donna Karan and Richard Baskin; Berry Gordy; Lisa Ling; Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone; NBCUniversal chief Ron Meyer; Haim Saban; Streisand’s Coton de Tulear, Sammie.
- iVillage Goes Behind-the-Scenes of Barbra Streisand's Star-Studded Benefit for Heart Disease
- Streisand Opens Her Home for Women's Heart Health
- Bill Clinton, Barbra Streisand Rally Deep Pockets for Women's Heart Center
- Barbra Streisand Toasts Bill Clinton, Women’s Heart Health, and Her “Furry Daughter” Sammie at Malibu Fund-Raiser
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