“There's a part of you that always remains a child, no matter how mature you get, how sophisticated or weary.” – Barbra Streisand
Singer, songwriter, actress, director, writer, composer, producer, designer, author, photographer, and activist. During a career spanning six decades, Barbra Streisand has become an icon in multiple fields of entertainment.
Streisand, whose 73rd birthday is today, is one of the best-selling music artists of all time with more than 72 million albums and 245 million records sold worldwide – the best-selling female artist of all time. And yet, music was not her intended career. She intended to be an actress and left home at age 16 to become one. Ultimately, of course, she more than succeeded, but in her first few years she was the proverbial “starving artist,” unsuccessful at almost every attempt in landing a role.
Desperate for work, she took a job as an usher at a Broadway production of Sound of Music and during the run of the play she heard that the casting director was auditioning for more singers. That marked the first time she sang in pursuit of a job. Although the director felt she was not right for the part, he encouraged her to begin including her singing talent on her résumé, and the rest, as they say…
By 1962 she was named best new talent on Broadway, the first of an incredible array of awards that includes 2 Academy Awards, 8 Grammys, 5 Emmys, 11 Golden Globes, and Tony, American Film Institute, and Peabody Awards.
Streisand holds the record for the most top ten albums of any female recording artist – a total of 33 since 1963 – and is the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades. As for writing, she has a nonfiction book in print and is working on an autobiography, although she keeps re-starting it. When asked why? She said: “I'm still a work in progress.” Lucky for us; look for more to come.
Here are links to two of Streisand’s best-selling and loved songs, the first “Somewhere,” sung on her Partners album with Josh Groban, and the second “Woman in Love,” written for her by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. Enjoy.
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