- Associated Press - Saturday, February 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and a trio of “Glee” stars led Barbra Streisand on a musical journey through her nearly 50-year career.

They joined Faith Hill, Barry Manilow and Seal in launching Grammy weekend by honoring the Oscar-winning singer and actress as MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday night.

Streisand, who turns 69 in April, was singled out for her musical achievements and philanthropic work.

“I said yes because it’s such a wonderful organization that takes care of their own — the people who actually create the music,” she told the audience.

The evening’s standing ovations went to Wonder, Bennett and Streisand, who closed the show with what she called “the leftovers” of her hits at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Barbra Streisand arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala in her honor on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Barbra Streisand arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala in ... more >

Wonder played piano and harmonica on “People,” accompanied by trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.

“I want you to know when I was 12 years old, I said, ‘I wish she could be my girlfriend because she sounds so good,’” Wonder told more than 2,000 guests.

Bennett did “Smile,” a song he and Streisand dueted on in his 2006 TV special.

With Herbie Hancock at the piano, 17-year-old Canadian Nikki Yanofsky sang a jazzy take of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” from Streisand’s 1970 movie of the same name.

Diana Krall played piano on “Down with Love” from 1963, while Lea Michele of “Glee” belted out “My Man” from 1965.

Matthew Morrison, Michele’s castmate on the hit Fox show, and Kristin Chenoweth dueted on “One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home.” Darren Criss of “Glee” opened the show with “What Kind of Fool” before he and his a capella backups blew kisses to Streisand, who was seated in the audience next to her husband James Brolin.

“My niece recently watched a DVD of ‘Funny Girl’ for the first time and asked why I was singing songs from ‘Glee,’” Streisand said, drawing laughs.

With Jeff Beck on guitar, BeBe Winans and LeAnn Rimes performed a bluesy version of “Come Rain or Come Shine.” Hill did “Send in the Clowns” and Manilow sang “Memory,” a hit for both him and Streisand.

“Neither one of us know what the heck the lyric means,” he said of the song from the Broadway musical “Cats.”

Later, Streisand said, “I think it’s about a vampire.”

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