How Barbra Streisand Unknowingly Inspired Aerosmith’s Biggest Hit
A Barbra Streisand anecdote about new love ultimately helped Aerosmith score their first No. 1 with 1998's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."
The singer was discussing a budding relationship with fiance James Brolin while appearing on a 20/20 report by Barbara Walters (as related in a new feature about "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" at the Ringer). "And we're just about to fall asleep, I thought. And he says, 'I don't want to fall asleep,'" Streisand said back then, with her eyes closed to the camera. "And so I say, 'Why not?' And he says, ''Cause then I'll miss you.'"
It's unknown whether Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler was one of the viewers for that snuggly ABC special. But songwriter Diane Warren saw it, and she immediately scribbled down the title "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." The first seeds of another huge hit were sown. "I love a good title," Warren told the Ringer. "So, I do that a lot."
A few months later, that germ of an idea came in handy when director Michael Bay called. He was looking for a song to pair with his pending disaster film Armageddon, and Warren had a suitably apocalyptic title at the ready. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" eventually became the fourth of nine Oscar-nominated songs for Warren.
Fast-forward 20 years, and Steisand remains married to Brolin. ("I wonder if he still – maybe he still feels that way," Warren mused.) Meanwhile, Aerosmith has never charted higher than they did with her song. They got to No. 6 with the 1975 re-release of "Dream On," No. 5 with 1989's "Love in an Elevator," No. 4 with 1989's "Janie's Got a Gun" and No. 3 with 1987's "Angel."
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