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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Barbra Streisand draws A-list to MusiCares gala

By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY.

Barbra Streisand didn't supply a wish list of performers for Friday's gala honoring her as MusiCares Person of the Year. "I wanted to be surprised," she says. "I didn't know who would be there."

An estimable and eclectic bunch, as it turns out. Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, LeAnn Rimes and Glee castmates are among those scheduled to salute Streisand, 68, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The honoree will sing as well, though "I'm not saying what." She'll perform again at Sunday's Grammy Awards (CBS, 8 p.m. ET/tape delay PT), where her Love Is the Answer is up for best traditional pop album.

The pre-Grammys event pays tribute to an artist who has had an influence creatively and philanthropically. Previous icons recognized by MusiCares, which helps musicians and industry professionals in need, include Bono and Luciano Pavarotti.

Through her Streisand Foundation, she's raising money for the Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Center on Crowdrise.com; she'll match the first $5 million. "Heart disease kills more women than all cancers. Research has focused on men, but there's new work. Female stem cells may help men more. It's always the mother, nourishing."

Actually, Streisand may play one of the least nourishing mothers on record, Momma Rose, in a new film adaptation of the classic musical Gypsy. "We're still in negotiations, but Arthur (Laurents, the show's librettist) let the cat out of the bag."

For now, Streisand will portray Seth Rogen's mom in the comedy My Mother's Curse. She's also working on an album celebrating the lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

The eight-time Grammy winner is, of course, looking forward to Sunday. "My lucky number is 24. I was born on the 24th and had my son at 24. When I won my last Grammy, I said, 'Maybe I'll see you in 24 years.' That was 24 years ago. We'll see."

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