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Barbra Streisand

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Barbra Joan Streisand was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on April 24, 1942 (later moved to another area in Brooklyn). Barbra’s father, Emanuel Streisand, died when she was only 15 months old so she became very close to her mother during her early childhood. She attended Erasmus Hall High School and graduated fourth in 1959. As a teenager she decided to try her luck in a singing contest, after winning it she received several offers to perform in several clubs in NY and became a nightclub singer. She wanted to be an actress and participated in some Off-Off-Broadway productions.

After making a name for herself, Barbra received several offers finally signing with Columbia Records and released Pins and Needles (which became the nation's top-selling record by a female vocalist). Streisand was able to get a role in the Broadway musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale in 1962. In 1963, The Barbra Streisand Album won two Grammy Awards (at one time her first three albums appeared simultaneously on Billboard's pop albums Top Ten). In 1964 she got a part in Jule Styne's and Bob Merrill's comedy Funny Girl.

Barbra Streisand’s early works in the 1960s are considered classic renditions of theatre and nightclub standards. In 1969 she tried her hand at rock and roll, but found success with the pop and ballad-oriented like in her Stoney End (1971) produced by Richard Perry. During the 70s number-one records like "The Way We Were", "Evergreen", "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" and "Woman In Love" (some of them are soundtracks to her films) occupied important positions on pop charts. By the end of that decade she was considered the most successful female singer in the U.S. and was even described as “The most influential mainstream American pop singer since Frank Sinatra” by music critic Stephen Holden.

With 1985’s The Broadway Album Streisand returned to her roots of musical theater. The album was a commercial success, it remained in the number one position in Billboard for three weeks and was awarded triple Platinum, it was nominated as Album of the Year and landed Streisand her 8th Grammy as Best Female Vocalist. In 1991 Streisand presented her second film as a director, The Prince of Tides, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards. After a hold in her music career, she came back with her album Back to Broadway (1993) which landed number one. The album was followed by a couple of very successful tours. On top of her success in music, theater and film and all the awards she had been granted in those fields, she is also recognized as a spokesperson and fundraiser.

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