Barbra Streisand Looks Back on 25 Years

ByABC News
September 21, 2005, 5:54 PM

Sept. 22, 2005 -- -- A quarter of a century after her first collaboration with Barry Gibb, Barbra Streisand is releasing a new album with the Bee Gees star -- but the legendary singer, actress and director says she's a different woman than when "Guilty" hit the charts in 1980.

She is a woman who is "less afraid," she told Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

Streisand is infamous for having avoided live performances for nearly three decades due to a debilitating bout of stage fright. She told Sawyer she traced her phobia to a concert in New York's Central Park in 1967, during which she forgot the lyrics to one of her songs. She described the experience as "staggering."

"I couldn't come out of it. ... It was shocking to me to forget the words. So, I didn't have any sense of humor about it," she told Sawyer.

"You know, I didn't make up words ... some performers really do well when they forget the words. They forget the words all the time, but they somehow have humor about it. I remember I didn't have a sense of humor about it. I was quite shocked."

Added Streisand, "I didn't sing and charge people for 27 years because of that night ... I was like, 'God, I don't know. What if I forget the words again?'" Streisand returned to the stage in the early 1990s.

Streisand said she's also getting better about dealing with bad reviews -- but said they still hurt her.

"You know, I can't remember my good reviews. I remember negative ones. They stay in my mind. So, that says a lot about my upbringing or, you know, a feeling of self-worth when I was younger. Now, I can sort of look at it and see that's kind of funny. But, you know, it is true even today," she said.

Streisand also remarked on the passing of time. "You know, what I'm fascinated by is how fast the time is going. In a blink of an eye. I mean it's 15 years later ... it's 20 years later ... it's 25 years later," said Streisand.