Barbara Streisand and Babyface — together? It’s true, though not exactly how you might think.
For her highly-anticipated album of duets, Partners, Barbra Streisand brought Kenneth “Babyface’ Edmonds on board as a co-producer.
Normally, when you think about Barbra Streisand teaming up with a music producer, the last person you might think about pairing her off with is R&B legend Babyface. However, the decision to hire Babyface was made since Barbra Streisand is such a huge fan of his past work — especially as a producer!
As you can see in this trailer for the album, due September 16, Barbra Streisand absolutely loved what Babyface did as a producer and lead songwriter on the soundtrack for the film, Waiting to Exhale. This 1994 Forest Whitaker-directed film starred Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett in addition to a host of other actors and actresses, including Wesley Snipes, Gregory Hines, and Loretta Devine. In addition to featuring Whitney Houston on the soundtrack for several of the songs, Babyface also brought together such popular acts as Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, and Mary J. Blige.
Here is what Jay Landers, co-executive producer of the Partners duet album, had to say about how Barbra Streisand felt regarding the new record.
“She was so enthusiastic about that soundtrack’s production. That’s how her interest in Kenny became known to me.”
Alongside the other producer for this project, Walter Afanasieff, Babyface was able to develop a concept for this particular Barbra Streisand album that was nothing short of genius.
“We basically thought that it would be great to take her most famous songs that she’s done and try to reinvent them… in new arrangements that fit a duet setting.”
In this trailer, Barbra Streisand mentions that she was primarily focused on creating an all-male duet album in order to get a new take on some of her classic songs — especially since she had never heard a man sing “The Way We Were” before.
According to the complete track listing, Partners features an impressive collection of some of the most popular male singers from today (John Mayer, Michael Buble, John Legend, Blake Shelton, Josh Groban) and yesterday (Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Andrea Bocelli).
When asked about the completed record, according to Billboard, Babyface had nothing but positive things to say about working with Barbra Streisand.
“It took a long time to get it done… but we’re right there. It’s a beautiful, beautiful record. She’s singing amazingly well and it’s been a fun project to do.”
Are you excited to hear this highly-anticipated duet album featuring some of the most popular Barbra Streisand songs? What do you think about Barbra pairing up with Babyface to create this potential masterpiece of music?