Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand are arguably two of the greatest singers of all time, and they actually teamed up together before on occasion, with their most notable duet being “I’ve Got A Crush On You.”
Sinatra’s death in 1998 left a void in the musical world, to say the very least. But in 2014, Barbra decided to record another duet in her old friend’s honor and selected his timeless, 1924 hit, “It Had To Be You.” But whose voice and singing style was anywhere as close in quality to Sinatra’s to do this song justice?
Canadian singer/songwriter and producer Michael Bublé, of course!
He was incredibly honored to be asked to join her in the recording studio, and boyishly humbled in her presence — they’d never actually met until that day — and said he “just wanted to show up and not let her down.” Which is an incredibly modest statement, as you’ll see in the video below.
Of course, he has to give himself some credit… Barbra never would’ve asked him to join the duet if she weren’t already such a fan of his music. And the fact that the song starts out as a ballad before transitioning into Michael’s signature, big-band style is a pretty big statement all in itself.
“Michael is a big band singer. So I thought, why not start it as a ballad and then have the big band take over?” explained Barbra, who’s no stranger to orchestral music herself. In fact, whenever she’s putting a new recording together, she always has an orchestra playing in the background to help get the creative juices flowing.
“I get inspired by what the orchestra’s playing and it makes me do other things that I hadn’t thought of until that moment singing with them.”
Michael’s voice takes on a note of almost star-struck awe while he discusses the collaboration on this song, which was included in her album that year, “Partners.”
I kind of marveled at how she still sounds like Barbra, but she’s kind of taking on the character of this great kind of torch singer, and she does it with so much emotion, but every word, she means what she’s saying.
And I think that’s the difference between just a singer and the greatest storytellers ever … I think what makes people fall even more in love with her is her ability to tell a story, and I guess that’s the actress within her.
Listen to this spellbinding duet in the video below, and share with all the Sinatra/Streisand/Bublé lovers in your life.
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