How Barbra Streisand’s Relationship of 27 Years Inspired Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

7 months ago

In the illustrious realm of entertainment, few names shine as brightly as Barbra Streisand’s. A living legend, Streisand’s incomparable talents have earned her an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Yet, beyond the glitz and glamour, Streisand found a profound love that became the muse for one of Aerosmith’s iconic ballads, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.

Her first husband

Born in April 1942, Barbra Streisand began her illustrious career in the 1960s, captivating audiences in nightclubs and theaters. This journey led her to notable appearances on television shows, and by 1963, she had achieved the remarkable feat of releasing a Grammy-nominated album for Album of the Year.

In a fortunate turn of events during one of her final Broadway performances, Streisand encountered Elliot Gould while auditioning for the play I Can Get It for You Wholesale. After the audition, uncertain about the future, she boldly shared her phone number, stating, “So, will someone call me?” Recounting the story in an interview, Gould dutifully noted her number and made the call.

Their connection deepened as he attended her performance, but Gould insisted they share the stage in the play. Their collaboration extended beyond the spotlight, culminating in marriage the following year.

Their break up was caused by success.

Streisand and Gould parted ways in 1969, formalizing their divorce in 1971. The singer’s rapid ascent in her career brought fame and ambition; unfortunately, it took a toll on her marital relationship. Gould candidly shared with a newspaper that being married to someone whose alliance with success came first proved challenging. He reflected, stating, “It was hard to be married to someone who had married her success,” and acknowledged that the couple had reached the limits of their journey together. Barbra’s sole son, Jason Gould, came into the world from this union.

Twenty years waiting for love.

East News, Adam Scull/PHOTOlink/Everett Collection/East News

Starting that year, Barbra had different relationships with people in showbiz. In 1973, she started going out with Jon Peters, her manager and personal producer. Then, from 1983 to 1987, Streisand lived with Richard Baskin, who owns Baskin-Robbins, the ice cream company. He wrote the words to her song Here We Are at Last.

Also, between 1983 and 1989, she dated actors Richard Gere and Clint Eastwood. From 1989 to 1991, she dated James Newton Howard, who was a composer. In the ’90s, she had romantic relationships with different actors and famous people, like Liam Neeson, Jon Voight, and Peter Weller. From 1992 to 1993, she dated Andre Agassi, even though they were 28 years apart. He described dating her as “like wearing burning lava.”

Barbra found a love that felt like a movie.

Barbra didn’t meet James Brolin until she turned 54 in 1996. They were set up on a blind date by their friends. Barbra had been in short-term relationships for many years and didn’t expect this one to be any different. But it was.

Just a few months after meeting, Barbra directed a movie called The Mirror Has Two Faces, which she said was like a mirror reflecting her new relationship with Brolin. She explained, “You dream the film, and then you manifest the film.” In the film, a woman gets married to a man for reasons other than love initially, but later they fall in love. Barbra said in an interview that being with Brolin felt like real-life imitating art.

A new beginning at 56

Barbra and James got married two years later, in 1998. Many people and the media weren’t sure if the new couple would stay together, mainly because of the singer’s past relationships. But as time passed, they showed that their relationship was meant to stay strong.

Their romance inspired Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.

In her recently released memoir, My Name is Barbra, the iconic Barbra Streisand unveils the poignant inspiration behind Aerosmith’s chart-topping ballad, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. Reflecting on her enduring romance with actor James Brolin, Streisand recounts a tender moment from the early days of their relationship. Recalling a night spent lying in bed together, Brolin expressed a sentiment that would become the lyrical heartbeat of a timeless song. “I don’t want to fall asleep,” he confessed, “’cause I’ll miss you.”

Deeply moved by the poetic confession, Streisand shared this anecdote in an interview with Barbara Walters. Little did she know that the story would find its way into the creative hands of songwriter Diane Warren, ultimately shaping the lyrics of a song that would resonate with millions. Aerosmith’s recording of I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing soared to No. 1 in 1998.

The key to a long-lasting marriage


Their relationship shows what love and effort can achieve in a couple. The secret to their successful marriage has a few parts. First, you should learn from the past, according to James Brolin. He said, “This is my [...] third marriage. I chose difficult situations the first two times, but I think you learn with each one. I’m a person who believes that if I get it wrong, that’s when I learn, and when I get it right, I haven’t learned anything.”

Another secret is being together but also keeping independence. “We’ve bifurcated, and I love it that way. I have my own money, and she has her own money.” Another thing is to love each other but also value independence. “When she’s busy, she’s really focused, and part of our good relationship is that I get that,” Brolin said. “And if I come to her with something important, and she says, ’I don’t have time right now,’ she doesn’t have time, period. That’s how the mind works. You have to focus.”

Another famous couple who has kept the romance alive against all odds is Catherine Zeta-Jones, 54, and Michael Douglas, 79. The Hollywood power pair shares the behind-the-scenes secrets that have fueled their enduring love story in an exclusive revelation.


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