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Barbra Streisand turns 80: Richard Marx reveals how the legendary diva helped his career

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Sunday marks Barbra Streisand‘s 80th birthday. The legendary diva and EGOT winner has, of course, recorded many number-one hits, but one that she passed on was “Right Here Waiting,” which became a chart-topper for its writer, Richard Marx. In his memoir Stories to Tell, Richard reveals how Streisand thought the tune had an “interesting melody,” but wouldn’t record it because she didn’t like the message it sent.

“The way she put it to me was, ‘I’m not going to be right here waiting for anybody,’ which is hilarious, which is a great line,” Richard tells ABC Audio. “But I’ve actually had people say, ‘You think she regretted [it?]’ and I was like, ‘Are you kidding?'”

Richard, who describes Streisand as “a real good friend,” explains why he felt that way.

“One, Barbra Streisand doesn’t need help from anybody. Barbra Streisand’s career is second to none,” Richard laughs. “But number two, of course she doesn’t regret it…she even said to me recently — sometimes I thank her for rejecting my song because of what it did for my career — and she’s like, ‘Yeah, honey, I still wouldn’t cut that song, no matter what’…I would never say that!”

He adds, “But that’s Barbra. I mean, that’s an artist. I would be the same way.”

Richard and Barbra have actually worked together several times: He contributed to her albums One Voice and A Love Like Ours.

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