Here is a Biography of Barbra Streisand that provides detailed information about her early life, family, songs, movies, Life Story, Music, Family, Education, Career, Awards, and honours.
We are sharing with you the Biography of Barbra Streisand, an American singer, actress, director, filmmaker, and producer.
Who is Barbra Streisand?
Barbara Joan Streisand, Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director, filmmaker, and producer. She has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment in a career spanning six decades.
She has been recognized with ten Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards including the Grammy Legend Award, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Barbra also has been recognized with five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, an American Film Institute award, four Peabody Awards, nine Golden Globes, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She starred in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl, for which she won Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress.
She is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award – and is one of only two artists in that group who have also won a Peabody – though only three were competitive awards.
Her other films include The Way We Were, The Owl and the Pussycat, and A Star Is Born, for which she received her second Academy Award.
She was composing music for the love theme “Evergreen”, the first woman to be honored as a composer.
With the release of Yentl, Streisand became the first woman to direct, write, star and produce in a major studio film.
The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical and an Oscar for Best Score. Streisand also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, becoming the first woman to win that award.
Barbra Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with over 68.5 million music albums in the United States, and with more than 150 million records sold worldwide.
The Billboard and the Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) recognize Barbra Streisand as holding the record for the most top 10 music albums of any female recording artist.
According to Billboard, Barbra holds the record for the female with the most number-one albums.
Billboard also recognizes her as one of the greatest artists of all time on its Hot 100 chart and the greatest female of all time on its 200 charts.
Barbra Streisand is the only recording artist to have a number-one album in each of the last six decades, having released 31 platinum albums, 53 gold albums, and 14 multi-platinum albums in the United States.
Early life & Childhood
Barbra Streisand, the original name Barbara Joan Streisand was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on April 24, 1942, to Diana Rosen and Emanuel Streisand.
Barbra’s father was a high school teacher at the same school, where they first met. In August 1943, a few months after Streisand’s first birthday, her father died from complications of an epileptic seizure when Streisand was only 15 months old.
Her mother was working in the New York City public school system as a secretary. She raised Streisand.
Her mother had been a soprano in her youth and considered a career in music, but later became a school secretary.
Her mother, Diana, then remarried in 1949, to Louis Kind, a used-car sales representative while Streisand was away at camp.
Her older brother, Sheldon was working as a secretary in the New York City public school system. Her family was Jewish. Her half-sister, singer Roslyn Kind, was born in 1951.
When Streisand was 13, during a visit to the Catskills, she told Rosie O’Donnell, she and her mother recorded some songs on tape.
Barbra Streisand was shy as a child and often felt rejected by other children because her looks were unusual.
She also found no support from her mother. She has described her childhood as painful. She additionally, she saw her stepfather as emotionally abusive.
Barbra Streisand Education:
Barbra Streisand began her education at the Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva of Brooklyn. She next entered Public School 89 in Brooklyn.
Streisand completed schooling from Bais Yakov School, where she sang in the school choir.
She was inquisitive about everything and considered bright; however, she lacked discipline, often shouting answers to questions out of turn.
During those early school years, she began watching television and going to movies. Streisand was a student at Erasmus Hall High School where she met Neil Diamond, her future collaborator.
Even before Streisand graduated from high school, she was traveling to New York City to study acting.
Barbra graduated from Erasmus High in 1959 at the age of 16. She was fourth in her class.
In 1960, Streisand went Manhattan months after graduating from high school. There, she shared several apartments with friends, including Elliott Gould, an American actor, whom she wed in 1963.
Together the couple had one child, Jason. They were married for eight years. Barbra Streisand met Alan Miller and Anita at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village.
She negotiated a deal with Alan Miller and Anita; she would babysit for their children in exchange for a scholarship to Alan’s acting school. In January 1959, she graduated from Erasmus Hall.
Barbra Streisand Career:
Streisand was encouraged to enter a talent night at a local club while attending acting lessons and working office jobs. Barbra had never taken a singing lesson before.
Barbra became known in the neighbourhood for her voice. That talent became a way for her to gain attention.
She would often practice her singing in her apartment building, which gave her voice an echoing quality.
Streisand made her singing debut at a PTA assembly, where she became a hit to everyone. Streisand was invited to sing at summer camp and weddings.
By the time she was thirteen, her mother began helping her make a four-song demo tape, including “You’ll Never Know” and “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart”.
Streisand began spending her spare time in the library, studying the success stories and biographies of famous actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse.
Barbra began reading novels, and plays and studying the acting theories of Michael Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavski.
In 1956, Streisand attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn where she became an honour student in modern history, Spanish and English.
Barbra also joined the Choral Club and Freshman Chorus, where she sang with Neil Diamond, another choir member, and classmate.
She got her first stage experience as a walk-on at the Playhouse in Malden Bridge, New York during the summer of 1957.
She took a night job at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. When she was a senior, she rehearsed for a small part in Driftwood. Her co-star in Driftwood was Joan Rivers.
Streisand took various menial jobs to have some income at Age of 16 and then living on her own.
In 1960, she took a job at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre as an usher for The Sound of Music.
Relationships and family: Personal life
Barbra Streisand has been married twice. Her first husband was actor Elliott Gould. They had one child, Jason Gould. Streisand dated Pierre Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister in 1969 and 1970.
She started a relationship with Jon Peters, hairdresser/producer in 1974. He went on to be her producer and manager. Streisand dated Andre Agassi, tennis champion in the early 1990s.
On July 1, 1998, she married actor James Brolin While they have no children together. Streisand is the owner of multiple dogs.
Broadway stage and Nightclub shows:
She discovered that her Brooklyn-bred style of humor was received favorably. Barbra started to audition at the Bon Soir nightclub, after which she was signed up at $125 a week. It became her first professional engagement.
At the Bon Soir nightclub, she was the opening act for comedian Phyllis Diller. Barbra realized she could still become an actress by first gaining recognition as a singer.
During the next six months appearing at the club, some began comparing her singing voice to famous names such as Fanny Brice, Lena Horne and Judy Garland.
Her conversational ability to charm an audience with spontaneous humor during performances became more sophisticated and professional.
Streisand accepted her first role in Another Evening with Harry Stoones on the New York stage.
Another Evening was a satirical comedy play in which she acted and sang two solos.
With the help of Martin Erlichman, her new personal manager, she had successful shows in St. Louis and Detroit.
Erlichman then booked her at an even more upscale nightclub the Blue Angel in Manhattan, where she became a bigger hit.
While appearing at the Blue Angel, playwright and theater director Arthur Laurents asked her to audition for I Can Get It for You Wholesale, a new musical comedy he was directing.
Streisand got the part of secretary to the lead actor businessperson, played by then unknown Elliott Gould.
The show opened at the Shubert Theater on March 22, 1962, and received rave reviews.
Here, she fell in love with Elliott Gould during rehearsals and eventually moved into a small apartment together.
Television appearances and first albums
The Tonight Show was the Streisand’s first television appearance. She sang Harold Arlen’s “A Sleepin’ Bee”. She credited to its usual host Jack Paar.
Later in 1961, before she was cast in Another Evening, she became a semi-regular on PM East/PM West, a talk/variety series hosted by Joyce Davidson and Mike Wallace.
In early 1962, she went into the Columbia Records studio for the cast recording of I Can Get It for You Wholesale.
In May 1962, Streisand “Happy Days Are Here Again” and appeared on The Garry Moore Show for the first time.
Johnny Carson had her on the Tonight Show half a dozen times, and she became a favourite of his television audience and himself personally.
She made the first of a number of appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in December 1962. She was later a co-host on the Mike Douglas Show.
Performing with her on The Ed Sullivan Show, Liberace invited her to Las Vegas, Nevada, to perform as his opening act at the Riviera Hotel.
During her The Ed Sullivan Show at Harrah’s Hotel in Lake Tahoe, she and Elliott Gould took time off to get married in Carson City, Nevada.
Liberace credited with introducing Barbra to audiences on the West Coast.
Her first album come “The Barbra Streisand” Album in early 1963. The album made the top 10 on the Billboard chart and won three Grammy Awards.
Streisand also released The Second Barbra Streisand Album that summer, which established her as the “most exciting new personality since Elvis Presley.
She ended that breakthrough year of 1963 by performing one-night concerts in Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Sacramento.
In 1964, Barbra returned to Broadway with an acclaimed performance as entertainer Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Winter Garden Theatre.
The show introduced two of her signature songs, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” and “People”. Because of the play’s overnight success, Barbra Streisand appeared on the cover of Time.
In 1964, she nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. In 1970, Barbra received an honorary “Star of the Decade” Tony Award.
Barbra Streisand repeated her success with Funny Girl in London’s West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1966.
From 1965 to 1968, Streisand appeared in her first four solo television specials.
Barbra Streisand Singing Career:
Barbra Streisand has recorded more than 50 studio albums, almost all with Columbia Records.
Her early works in the 1960s (The Second Barbra Streisand Album, The Barbra Streisand Album, The Third Album, My Name Is Barbra, etc.) are considered classic renditions of theatre.
The title track, was a major hit for Streisand which was written by Laura Nyro. In 1971, Barbra Streisand gained newfound success with the pop and ballad-oriented Richard Perry-produced album Stoney End.
Barbra was also highly prominent on the pop charts During the 1970s with Top 10 recordings such as “The Way We Were” “No More Tears” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “The Main Event”.
As the 1970s ended, Barbra was named the most successful female singer in the U.S. – only The Beatles and Elvis Presley had sold more albums.
She released her bestselling, the Barry Gibb-produced Guilty in 1980. The bestselling album contained the hits “Woman in Love”, “Guilty”, and “What Kind of Fool”.
Streisand returned to her musical-theatre roots with 1985’s The Broadway Album, which was holding the coveted No. 1 Billboard position for three straight weeks.
The album featured tunes by George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Kern, who was persuaded to rework some of his songs especially for this recording.
The Broadway Album was met with acclaim. Streisand was set to release another album of Broadway songs in 1988 after releasing the live album One Voice in 1986.
Streisand started focusing on her film directorial efforts and became almost inactive in the recording studio at the beginning of the 1990s.
Streisand’s concert fundraising events helped propel President Bill Clinton into the spotlight and into office. Later, Streisand introduced President Bill Clinton at his inauguration in 1993.
In June 1993, Streisand returned to the recording studio and released Back to Broadway. Streisand announced her first public concert appearances in 27 years in September 1993.
What began as a two-night New Year’s event at the MGM Grand Las Vegas led to a multi-city tour in the summer of 1994.
Streisand released “I Finally Found Someone” in 1996 as a duet with Bryan Adams, Canadian songwriter and singer.
On New Year’s Eve 1999, she was the number one female singer in the U.S. in early 2000, Streisand performed versions of the Timeless concert in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.
In advance of four concerts (two each in New York and Los Angeles) in September 2000, Streisand announced that she was retiring from playing public concerts.
Streisand recorded the song “Smile” alongside Tony Bennett at Streisand’s Malibu home in February 2006. The song is included on Bennett’s 80th birthday album, Duets.
At the age of 64, she grossed $92,457,062. She set the third-place record for her show of October 9, 2006 at Madison Square Garden.
Forbes listed Streisand as the No.-2-earning female musician in February 2008 with earnings of about $60 million between June 2006 and June 2007.
Streisand returned to the studio to begin recording what would be her sixty-third album on November 17, 2008. She visited the White House as part of the ceremonies on December 7, 2008.
CBS aired Streisand’s latest television special, Streisand: Live in Concert April 25, 2009
September 26, 2009: Streisand performed a one-night-only show in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
- September 29, 2009: She released her newest studio album Love is the Answer
- October 2, 2009: She made her British television performance debut
- Streisand joined over eighty other artists on February 1, 2010
- Streisand sang “Somewhere” from the Broadway musical West Side Story in 2011
- February 11, 2011: Streisand was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year
- October 11, 2012: She gave a three-hour concert performance before a crowd of 18,000
- June 2013: She gave two concerts in Tel Aviv, Bloomfield Stadium
- September 2014: She released a new album Partners
- May 2016: She announced the upcoming album Encore
- June 2018: Streisand confirmed she was working on an album titled Walls.
Barbra Streisand Music awards and Nominations:
- 1963: Grammy Awards in Best Female Vocal Performance, Album of the Year category for The Barbra Streisand Album
- 1964: Grammy Awards in Album of the Year, Best Female Vocal Performance category for “Happy Days Are Here Again” & “People”
- 1965: Grammy Awards in Best Female Vocal Performance category for My Name Is Barbra
- 1966: Grammy Awards in Album of the Year category for Color Me Barbra
- 1968: Grammy Awards in Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance category for Funny Girl
- 1970: AGVA Georgie Award in Entertainer of the Year category
- 1972: Grammy Awards in Singing Star of the Year category
- 1975: People’s Choice Awards in Favorite Female Singer of the Year category
- 1976: People’s Choice Awards in Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance category for Classical Barbra
- 1978: Grammy Awards in Best Pop Female Vocal Performance category
- 1979: Grammy Awards in Best Pop Vocal Performance – Duo, Group, or Chorus category for “Guilty”
- 1980: Grammy Awards in Best Pop Vocal Female Performance for “Woman in Love”
- 1985: People’s Choice Awards in Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer category
- 1986: Grammy Awards in Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal category for “Being Alive”
- 1987: Grammy Awards in Best Music Video Performance category for “One Voice”
- 1988: People’s Choice Awards in Favorite All-Time Musical Performer category
- 1991: Nominated in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance category
- 1992: Grammy Legend Award – Special Award
- 1993: Nominated in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance category
- 1994: Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award – Special Award
- 1997: Nominated in Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category
- 1998: Inducted in Grammy Hall of Fame category
- 2000-2020: Nominated in Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category
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