Photo Credit: FOX; Getty Images
This past Friday, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Kristin Chenoweth and Darren Criss spent the night crooning the greatest hits of musical legend Barbra Streisand. No, you didn't miss an episode of Glee; the cast members, along with other big-name musicians, were honoring Streisand at the 2011 MusiCares person of the year tribute concert. Watch some of the highlights below!
Streisand, 68, was selected as this year's MusiCares honoree because of her dedication to nonprofit work. Unlike past honorees, Streisand didn't put in her own requests for the all-star ceremony, telling USA Today, "I wanted to be surprised."
In addition to the Glee folks, the big names who showed up to surprise Streisand included Faith Hill, Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, LeAnn Rimes, Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Nikki Yanofksy, Leona Lewis, Seal and Diana Krall. Each of them performed a song that Babs made legendary, including"People" (sung by Wonder), "Send in the Clowns" (sung by Hill) and "My Man (sung by Michele).
Although the event honored Streisand, it was the performers who really seemed honored to be there. On the red carpet, Rimes gushed that Streisand was her "biggest influence," while Criss called her "the queen bee" of musical theater. On stage, Stevie Wonder admitted to a childhood crush on Streisand, saying, "When I was 12, I wished she could be my girlfriend because she sounded so good!" (See what other stars had to say about Babs in the video below.)
Streisand herself closed the show, singing a medley of hits including "The Way We Were" and "Happy Days." In her acceptance speech for the person of the year Aaward, she mentioned that her niece recently watched her 1968 film Funny Girl -- "and asked me why I was singing songs from Glee." (Glee prominently featured the film's "Don't Rain On My Parade" in last year's season finale.)
Funnily enough, when asked on the event's red carpet whether she'd ever appear on Glee, Streisand replied: "Not if I can help it." But before Gleeks go hating on Babs, the icon did clarify her comment in a statement to E! on Sunday.
"What I meant was that I've been overwhelmed preparing for my performance on MusiCares, the Grammys, recording a new album, and starting a new movie," Streisand said. "So I couldn't take on any more work, and besides that, I wasn't asked. I'm so honored that a lead character on Glee is so admiring of my work. In my speech at MusiCares, I thanked them 'for exposing young people to music they might otherwise not hear today: Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Darren Criss... you're all so gifted.'"
MusiCares is a nonprofit organization that is connected to the Grammy Awards and provides health care and medical assistance to needy musicians. Through her foundation, Streisand is currently raising money for the Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Center on Crowdrise.com.
Does Barbra Streisand's music have special meaning for you? Chime in below!