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Glee’s Subtle Superstar Tribute

Sure, Glee has made a high note out of its loudly vocalized tributes to some of pop music’s most iconic divas — Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears — but did you notice the show’s subtle shout-out to two of the biggest female singing stars, ever, on the “Duets” episode?

Give a quick look and listen to Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) moving rendition of “Get Happy” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Then check out this video of the legendary Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand teaming on overlapping versions of the same two songs long before “mashup” ever entered the lexicon – from a 1963 episode of The Judy Garland Show.

Given that Lea’s sprightly sailor style and Chris’s shiny suit also echo Babs and Judy’s ensembles, it’s clear the Glee team was purposely paying homage to two time-honored icons.

Lea and I talked about her Barbra-love not too long ago. “I'm just going to try and tackle every Barbra song ever made while Glee is on, for however long it's on,” she told me, though she’s not sure if she’ll ever be ready to meet her idol. “Sometimes I think that your heroes and your mentors should be kept afar. I've embarrassed myself plenty in front of other people that I look up to. I think for her own sake we should just leave that one alone!”

10.16.2010 / 04:22 AM EDT by Scott Huver
Related: Glee, Music

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