Music played a defining role in Liza Minnelli's life from the day she was born. She was named after the George Gershwin song "Liza."
Growing up in Los Angeles, the child of film director Vincente Minnelli and actress Judy Garland, Minnelli was a shy child who had a hard time expressing herself — until she listened to the music her parents played around the house.
"There was always music," she said. "My mother loved funny songs; my father loved romantic songs. I listened to everything. And that's why now, still, I can find a song for how I feel when I don't quite know how I'm feeling. The music will tell me."
Listening to music not only helped her express her feelings, it also gave her the inspiration to perform.
"You know, I always put on music right before I go onstage," said Minnelli. "I listen to other people. It's wonderful to have other people's music push you onto a stage."
"I grew up hearing everything, you know? And … music, it was and is probably my dearest and most faithful friend. It's just — it's always there," Minnelli said. "When your world shakes a little; you think, holy Toledo what's going on — you can find a song that'll make you feel better. And those are the types of songs I like."