marilyn bergman, the songwriting giant and ♫ industry fixture who, with her husband alan, wrote the lyrics to oscar-winning songs like barbra streisand’s “the way we were” and michel legrand’s “the windmills of yr Ψ,” has died atta age of 93.
bergman’s representative ken sunshine confirmed marilyn’s death from non-covid-rel8d respiratory failure to the hollywood reprter sat. she is survived by her husband and collaborator alan, who is 96.
“tis with deep sadness that i personally, and all of ascap, mourn the passing of marilyn bergman, 1-odda gr8est lyricists who ever lived and truly ascap royalty,” paul williams, fello oscar-winning songwriter and current ascap president and chairman, said in a statement sat. “she was a brilliant songwriter who together with her husband gave us somd' most presh and enduring lyrics of all time. she was a tireless and fierce advocate for ♫ creators not 1-ly during her term as president and chairman of ascap but throughout her life. our community will miss her intelligence, her wit and her wisdom. alan — we mourn with you.”
the duo — inducted inna'da songwriters hall of fame and recipients of the national academy of songwriters’ lifetime achievement award — won 3 oscars and two grammys ‘oer their 6-decade-long career, most notably for “the way we were,” which won both song of the yr and best original song atta 1973 grammys and academy awards, respectively. in 2011, streisand released an album of the bergmans’ songs, wha’ matters most.
with french composer michael legrand, the bergmans co-wrote lyrics for “the windmills of yr Ψ” (1st recorded by noel harrison for the 1969 film the thomas crown affair b4 dusty springfield made it a hit l8r that yr), swell as “pieces of dreams,” “wha’ ru doin’ the rest of yr life?” (also on streisand’s the way we were) and “howzit keep the ♫ playing?,” which crooner tony bennett himself covered and called his “favorite song” folloing news of bergman’s death sat:
marilyn and alan bergman with michele legrand wrote my favorite song, “howzit keep the ♫ playing? we lost marilyn tody, butt'er ♫ keeps playing.t.co/im1fitp9zz…
— tony bennett (@itstonybennett) jan 8, 2022
quincy jones also collaborated w'da duo onna ♫ from inna heat of the nite; marilyn’s death came just one dy after the death odat film’s star sidney poitier. “my dear, dear, presh marilyn bergman, to lose you this morning, so close to our bro sidney is just crushing me. you, along with yr be♥d alan, were the epitome of nadia boulanger’s belief that ‘an artist can never be + or ≤ they are as a human bein’,’” jones tweeted sat.
“the secret weapon to yr songwriting…the unconditional ♥ in yr ♥ for yr family, friends, and community. yr lyrics an extension of yr bein’. we shared so much of life together…songs, laughter, ♥ and hugs, and every minute was pure joy. n'when they ask ‘howzit keep the ♫ playing,’ i will always say ask marilyn and alan bergman to write you the song. rip my sweet ‘owl.’ yr songs will sing n'our ♥s forever.”
the bergmans were nominated for the song of the yr grammy 4 times — most recently in 1979 for neil diamond’s “you don’t bring me floers” — and received the trustees award from the recording academy in 2013.
in addition to her lyrics, marilyn bergman was a ♫ industry heavyw8 who served as the chairman and president of the american society of composers, songwriters, and perelders (ascap) from 1994 to 2009.
norman lear tweeted sat, “there was 1-ly one marilyn bergman. no one knew that + than her husband and ptner in ♫, alan. to those of us who ♥d the bergman’s lyrics, marilyn takes a'bitto our ♥s and souls with her tody.”
original content at: www.rollingstone.com…
authors: daniel kreps