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Barbra Streisand Recalls Unwittingly Inspiring Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’


Even the quiet moments of Barbra Streisand’s life can turn into gold.

The EGOT winner appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” for the first time this week and confirmed a little-known secret: She inspired Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Streisand recounted that it all started with a private moment in bed.

Stern reminded the multitalented icon that she had “a real bad opinion of men” before she met James Brolin, her spouse of 25 years. She recalled laying in bed with him before tying the knot, only for him to profess: “I don’t wanna fall asleep because then I’ll miss you.”

That line would soon conquer the world as a topping chart hit.

“Can you believe it?” Streisand told Stern. “He said that to me, and I repeated it on TV with Barbara Walters. I mean, what a thing to say… We were both spooning, you know — we’ve done our bits or whatever — and I’m about to fall asleep, and he says that to me.”

Streisand recalled her reaction rather vividly: “Oh my god, OK, yes, I’ll marry you.”

The couple did that on July 1, 1998, at their Los Angeles home and seemingly thought nothing more of the pillow talk. However, songwriter Diane Warren was always looking for inspiration and fatefully happened to catch Streisand’s 1997 interview.

“Someone told me there was an interview with Barbra Streisand and her husband, and he had said how he doesn’t like to go to sleep, you know if he misses her, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a cool idea for a song if I can figure that out,’” Warren told Shortlist in 2016.

Streisand recounted her pillow talk story on TV and unwittingly inspired Aerosmith's song.
Streisand recounted her pillow talk story on TV and unwittingly inspired Aerosmith’s song.

Left: Evan Agostini/Associated Press; Right: Winslow Townson/Invision/Associated Press

“That’s where I got the title from,” she continued. “And I kept it in the back of my head, and when that movie came round, I thought, ‘You know, I’m gonna write this song because it could be about the end of the world ― it could fit that storyline, or it could fit this love story.’ ‘I could stay awake just to hear you breathing.’ I’m like, that’s a great opening line.”

The rest is pop culture history as “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” reportedly became Aerosmith’s first No. 1 hit, sold millions of copies in the U.S. alone — and became the lead single for the “Armageddon” (1998) soundtrack.

When speaking to Stern, Streisand added, “It was a powerful line, right?”


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