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- Liza Minelli said she can't sing well enough those "special songs" of her late mother, Judy Garland, so she doesn't sing them at all. The award-winning entertainer said she'd "rather present a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of Mama."
- As paraphrased and quoted in "News Spotlight," The Kingsport Daily News (December 11, 1974), p. 9
- I couldn't sing Mama's special songs. I couldn't do them as well. I would rather present a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of Mama.
- I don't sing them because I couldn't sing them as well as she did. I'd rather be a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of anybody.
- I'm carrying on a tradition. But I'd rather be a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of somebody else. I'm proud of my parents, and the only way that I can prove it to them is to take what they gave me and work my head off.
- Liza Minelli, as quoted in "The Return of Liza" by Wilmer Ames, in The Bend Bulletin Family Weekly (November 1, 1981), p. 8
- It really scared me to do what Mom did because I never did anything that she did. I promised her that I would never sing her songs, and I kept my promise. "You sing them better than anybody. I don't want to be a second-rate example of you. I want to be a first-rate example of myself."
- Liza Minelli, as quoted in "Liza Minelli 'Never Felt Better' Despite Tabloids' Whispers" by Douglas J. Rowe, in TV Plus: The Schenectady Sunday Gazette Supplement (June 9, 1996), p. 4
- My mother once told me never be a second-rate version of somebody else when you can be a first-rate version of yourself.
- "[G]racefully handl[ing] audience demands for 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,'" as quoted in "Coy Minnelli wows spirited audience; UM announces MCA construction" by Alicia Amstead, in The Bangor Daily News (September 18, 2006), p. A10
- A TV producer once asked me to sing one of her songs. So I asked her advice. "Don’t be ridiculous, Liza," she said. "Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of somebody else."
- As quoted in "Liza Minnelli: 'I’d like a wealthy older man who adores me, a passionate middle-aged man, and a 30-year-old who’d come by twice a week'" by Richard Barber, in The Daily Mail (May 19, 2012)
- You don’t know how to handle anything today, because you have to go to jail to get some press or fall down drunk.
- They used to have clauses and contracts where you can't get bad publicity or you'd get fired. But now bad publicity is good publicity. I just keep working and don't think about it much.
- If I give you romantic advice, don't take it. Look what's happening to me. I have the best taste in friends and the worst taste in husbands. I'm never getting married again. That's just stupid. There's no reason on Earth to do that.
- Some people think reality must be constantly depressing, but I think reality is something you rise above.