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Barbra Streisand Says She and James Brolin Inspired Aerosmith’s Biggest Hit

Twenty-five years ago, Aerosmith reached the top of the charts for the first time with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” — and the band has Barbra Streisand to thank.

Though Aerosmith’s theme to 1998’s Armageddon was a smash hit, the song was not written by the boys from Boston (Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer). Legendary songwriter Diane Warren wrote the track, and in Streisand’s new memoir, My Name Is Barbra, Streisand claims that a romantic moment with her husband, James Brolin, inspired Warren, 67, to write the track.

Streisand recalled h lying in bed with Brolin, 83, one night when he told her, “I don’t want to fall asleep.” When asked why, Brolin replied, “Cause I’ll miss you.” Streisand wrote that this was “a beautiful, poetic thing to say. And it captured a moment of complete bliss… physical, emotional, spiritual.”

The “Woman In Love” singer shared this anecdote during a 1997 appearance on 20/20 with Barbara Walters, and according to Streisand, Warrant was watching. She wrote down the exchange between Streisand and Brolin, and it would become the basis for the song’s chorus: “Don’t wanna close my eyes / I don’t wanna fall asleep / ‘Cause I’d miss you baby / And I don’t wanna miss a thing.”

Though Aerosmith had topped the rock charts since bursting on the scene in the early 1970s, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” is Aerosmith’s first and only No. 1 single in the United States. The song also scored the band an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. (The band lost to Stephen Schwartz’s “When You Believe,” the song Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston performed for The Prince of Egypt).

Barbra Streisand Claims Romantic Moment With James Brolin Inspired Aerosmith I Dont Want to Miss a Thing 2
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Streisand added that it was “so gratifying to see so many people responding to Jim’s words. Well, no wonder… so did I!”

Warren confirmed that Streisand inspired the song when speaking to ABC News in 2018. In 2016, Warren reflected on how “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” ended up with Aerosmith while talking with Shortlist. “When I wrote it, I thought it would end up being like Celine Dion or somebody like that, you know, back in the day — I mean, who’s a great singer – but it’s so much cooler to hear someone like Steven Tyler — this gruff, macho rock star, this amazing tough guy – for him to say that lyric, it just brought a whole other dimension to it.”

Amid this Aerosmith tidbit, Streisand’s memoir came with a series of bombshells, including her claims that she had an affair with Charlie Chaplin’s son, Sydney Chaplin, while working on Broadway’s “Funny Girl.” She also shared some insight on her relationship with her ex-husband, Elliott Gould, including the “shock” over finding out she was pregnant with their son, Jason Gould.

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