Barbra Streisand Explains How James Brolin Romance Inspired Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’

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Barbra Streisand is delving into various aspects of her life, from matters of the heart to the enduring romance she shares with actor James Brolin.


The actress and singer made her debut on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show this week, and gave a candid interview while promoting her new memoir, My Name is Barbra. 

A particularly enchanting moment unfolded as Streisand reminisced about a charming episode of pillow talk with Brolin. As the couple lay together, Brolin expressed, “I don’t want to fall asleep because then I’ll miss you.” Streisand, amused and touched by the sentiment, recounted the sweet exchange, admitting, “OK, yes, I’ll marry you.” 

This endearing anecdote was later shared with Barbara Walters during a televised interview, inadvertently becoming the inspiration for Aerosmith’s hit song, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

The chain of events leading to the song’s creation unfolded as Diane Warren, watching Streisand’s interview with Walters, was captivated by the powerful line. Warren, a renowned songwriter, jotted down the sentiment and later incorporated it into the lyrics of the song. Aerosmith went on to achieve their first no. 1 hit with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in 1998.

The song’s journey didn’t stop there. A few months later, director Michael Bay sought a fitting track for his upcoming disaster film, Armageddon, and Warren’s composition proved to be the perfect match. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” became the fourth Oscar-nominated song for Warren, solidifying its place in music history.

While speaking to Shortlist in 2016, Warren discussed her process for creating the hit song. “Well that song, it was written for the movie Armageddon, back in the day, but where that song came from – where the concept came from – is 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,’ and that’s where I got the title from,” said Warren. 

The hitmaker 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 really great opening line.”

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Earlier this week, Brolin, 83, and Streisand, 81, did a sit-down interview at their home with CBS Mornings host Gayle King to promote the actress’ memoir.

While discussing their 25th anniversary — which they celebrated on July 1 — the couple revealed that they almost didn’t make it down the altar as Streisand was on the fence about Brolin. 

The actor admitted that following his near decade-long marriage to actress Jan Smithers, he remained celibate for three years until he tied the knot with the Funny Girl star in 1998. 

“I had been, literally it’s a wild word, but I had been celibate for three years, saying ‘who needs this,'” he said of his self-determined bout of abstinence.

“You’re not supposed to tell that,” Streisand replied, slapping her long-time husband on the knee over his confession. 

“For three years?” King responded in a surprised tone. 

“I had not had any interest in getting involved in a lousy situation,” Brolin added. 

“After three years, that must have been a hell of a night then?” King joked. 

“Wild,” Brolin responded, laughing along with Streisand. 


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