2011 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute to Barbra Streisand

Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall

1201 S. Figueroa St.

Los Angeles, California

February 11, 2011

Streisand on stage at MusiCares

Invitation to MusiCares concert 2011

Barbra Streisand was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of her renowned creative accomplishments as well as her philanthropic work, which has included an extraordinary range of charitable activities over the years. Proceeds from the dinner and concert honoring Streisand — held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, two days prior to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards — provided essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

Streisand on stage singing

The set list for the evening, which consisted of other singers serenading Streisand with songs from her catalog, went like this:

Streisand on stage for MusiCares

Streisand sat at a prime table with her inner circle – husband James Brolin, son Jason Gould, songwriter lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Also present that evening: producer David Foster, Cornell West, LA Reid, Joel Katz, Marty Bandier, Nikki Haskell, Rosanna Arquette and James Newton Howard, producer Tommy LiPuma, Cheryl Tiegs, Mo Ostin, and Barbara Orbison. From Sony Music: Rob Stringer and Jay Landers, Barbra's long time A&R guy, as well as Richard Jay-Alexander, who directed her 2006-7 tours and her show at the Village Vanguard.

At the end of the program, Streisand was introduced by Prince: “Without further ado, (please welcome) the MusiCares Person of the Year,” Prince said, as the crowd rose to its feet. “The incomparable, the one and only, Barbra Streisand.”

“Oh my god. Where to begin?” said Streisand, taking the stage.

“I said yes because it's such a wonderful organization that takes care of their own — the people who actually create the music.”

Streisand thanked her associates and colleagues, including longtime manager Marty Erlichman. “Marty discovered me in the neonatal unit of Brooklyn Hospital,” she joked.

A few moments later, Streisand almost choked up, quipped: “I feel, deep in my heart, kind of verklempt!”

 

Streisand continued: “I love music for what it does to the soul, how it elevates the moment, the emotions. I love music for what it's given me. It gave me a job when I couldn't get a job as an actress. It let me express myself when I had no other outlet. I love how music binds us together. It also reflects the times we live in.”

Streisand quoted Hans Christian Andersen: “When words fail, music speaks.”

“My niece recently watched a DVD of `Funny Girl' for the first time and asked why I was singing songs from `Glee'.”

Barbra was also a little political when she mentioned Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. “As anyone watching the news can see, the potential for democracy triumphed over the tyranny of dictatorship, and I just hope this historical moment leads to freedom, prosperity and lasting peace between great nations,” Streisand said.

By the time Streisand took her turn at the mike to close the evening with a medley of hits, she joked, “I'm stuck with the leftovers.”

Barbra's Set List:

Streisand and Prince

(Photo, above: Prince, NARAS President Neil Portnow and 2011 MusiCares Honoree Barbra Streisand. Photo: Kevin Mazur)

For the show, Randy Waldman was Barbra's Music Director; the conductor was Doug Besterman.

Other celebrities who didn't sing during the concert portion, but who offered their regards to Ms. Streisand were former President Bill Clinton (in a pre-taped video message), Bill Mahr, Fran Drescher, will.i.am, Neil Portnow (current president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences [NARAS]).

Streisand sings I'll Never Say Goodbye

Streisand wrote in the evening's program how honored she was to be recognized by MusiCares:

I'm both proud and humbled to be named MusiCares 2011 Person of the Year. The magic of music has enriched my life in countless ways and has been an essential source of personal and creative expression. I am grateful to everyone who has supported and encouraged me from my first appearance at a little club in Greenwich Village called The Lion to this moment tonight.

I've always felt that when one receives a lot, they should find ways of giving back. Therefore, I'm especially pleased to recognize this wonderful organization that assists those less fortunate who have dedicated their lives to the musical arts.

In these challenging times, it is incumbent upon all of us, who can, to help society in ways large and small. For nearly two decades “The Streisand Foundation” has contributed resources to the many issues I care deeply about—among them, environmental preservation, education, civic engagement, human rights, and women's health. Currently, we are raising much needed funding for women's cardiovascular research and education—the number one cause of death in women, exceeding all cancers combined.

It's a privilege to be in a position to shine a light on important causes that help better people's lives. I thank everyone this evening not only for such a lovely personal tribute, but also for the good work your generosity will enable MusiCares to continue doing in the coming years.

I especially want to express my sincere appreciation to all the artists who have graced the stage tonight with their extraordinary talents. I am honored that they have taken the time to learn my songs and to acknowledge me on this special night.

My thanks and gratitude to you all,

Barbra Streisand

In 2011, Columbia Records promoted Barbra's newest album, What Matters Most, by streaming her segment of the MusiCares concert at Starbucks stores from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29.

Starbucks MusiCares promotion website

The promotional email and website told Streisand fans to visit a Starbucks store “with your WiFi-enabled laptop computer, phone, or other mobile device and log on to the Starbucks Digital Network. Visit the Entertainment Channel to see Barbra perform some of her greatest hits plus two songs from What Matters Most which she's never before sung live... right from your own mobile device and only in your neighborhood Starbucks!”

On November 13, 2012, Shout Factory released an edited version of the concert to DVD and Blu-ray.

[order the DVD at Amazon.com]

[order the Blu-ray at Amazon.com]

MusiCares Tribute Program

Cover of MusiCares program

Erlichman and Dion tributes

Click here to read more of the amazing tributes in the MusiCares program!

End.

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