talks to... Peggi Blu

... one of the backup singers for Barbra's Las Vegas Concerts on December 31st 1999 and January 1st 2000.

Peggi was delighted to share her joy with us fans - She even tells us what went on behind stage!

Q How did you land the gig with Barbra?

A: The last Broadway show I did in New York ("Marilyn, an American Fable", with Scott Bakula) was directed by Kenny Ortega. Kenny was hired as the director of Barbra's Millennium Show and he called me and asked me to get two other singers that I wanted to work with. I contacted two of my favorites - Bridgette Bryant and Kellie Coffey. (Bridgette, incidentally, also sings background vocals for me on my latest CD “Livin’ On Love”.) The three of us went and sang for Barbra, got hired on the spot, and were asked to come back to rehearsal the very next day. And the rest is, as they say, “Millennium Show History”. (smile)

Q When did rehearsals begin, and how long did they last?

A: Rehearsals lasted a total of five weeks. We started rehearsing in LA in November, and then moved to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the final week before the performance. Barbra likes to be very well prepared, especially when the show is as special as one celebrating the changing of the millennium.

Q What was your first impression of Barbra?

A: AWE!!!!! I have been a HUGE Barbra Streisand fan since I was a teenager. Rehearsals were, for me, almost as exciting as the show because being around that much God-given talent left me then and still leaves me “breathless”!

Q How did you gear yourself up, knowing that you'd be performing with a legend - in front of 13,000 people?! Were you nervous?

A: No. I have performed for many of biggest stars in the music business like Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder, etc. in front of many more people than that. On my own I have performed at huge arenas like the Olympic Stadium in Montreal that had an overflow crowd of over 55,000 people. What was different and exciting about this concert was that it was with THE Barbra Streisand. The most special performance of this mini tour was actually a pre-show dress rehearsal held in Manhattan Beach (a small town right outside Los Angeles) for 300 invitation-only close friends of Barbra’s. Gregory Peck came to me at the end of the performance and kissed and hugged me. He told me how much he enjoyed watching and listening to me sing with Barbra. With his recent passing, that moment especially now stays in my mind.

Q Did you see much of Barbra backstage?

A: Often she did not have the time to be with us (the singers), but at other times she would be in our dressing room running through dance steps and just sitting and talking with us. We discussed families, children, food, clothes (of course!), and other “girl stuff”. Needless to say we spent a lot of time giggling about that “girl stuff”, which you understand, of course, I cannot divulge any details of here. (smile)

Q What were you thoughts at the end of the first performance?

A: I couldn’t wait to get back to my room and simply collapse, because we had been working for over a month straight without a break. I knew the first performance was great! However what I really wanted to do was immediately call my husband and son back in LA and my mother and daughter in North Carolina and scream HAPPY NEW MILLENIIUM!!! to all of them. And also scream “DO YOU KNOW WHO I JUST SANG WITH??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (smile)

Q Did you have a favorite song from the show?

A: Obviously, one of my favorites was the song we sang with Barbra, Bob Esty’s wonderful “The Main Event”. But what touched me the deepest was hearing Barbra sing her classic hit “People”. I cried almost every time I heard her sing that song.

Q When you look back at Timeless - what are your thoughts?

A: That I was in the presence of greatness. And that I had spent all that time with a true “lady”. I have worked with many people in this industry, but there only a rare few that have as much class and savvy about what they do and who they are as Ms. Streisand. I will forever be grateful to have been included in such an historic event.

Q You have a new CD which has been released, and forthcoming Concerts in New York? Tell us more!

A: Thank you for asking about that. My newest CD, “Livin’ on Love” (Expansion Records), has been immensely successful since its initial European release last December. It has topped radio charts in 3 countries, and continues to be played throughout the Continent and the UK. We are now shopping for a US distribution deal. There are links to sites where you can purchase the CD. You can also buy this, as well as my two previous albums (“Blu Blowin’ on Capitol Records, and “I Got Love” on MCA Records) at my website: . You can find audio samples, great pictures, and lots of info there as well. I have two upcoming concerts in New York City - July 22nd and 23rd at the Triad Theatre in Manhattan (158 West 72nd St., near Broadway). For tickets please call SmartTix at (212)868-4444. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office the night of the performance. You can always find info about this and any upcoming performances of mine at my website. So please stop by as often as you can!

Peggi, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions.

And thank you, Craig, for giving me the opportunity to talk to so many of Barbra’s fans. Hopefully I’ll see some of them at my July 22nd and 23rd concerts in New York!

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