Barbra Streisand is a legendary American actress and singer who rose to fame in the 1950s and 60s. She is someone who truly was the jack of all trades during her time, and is still considered by many as the undisputed Broadway Queen. She is the recipient of 8 Grammy Awards, has won the Academy Award twice, the Emmy Awards six times, and a Tony Award one time. This makes her amongst the very few artists in the industry to have all four honors—the Oscar, the Tony, the Grammy and the Emmy. At 70 years of age, she is considered a living legend, and one of the most celebrated women in entertainment. Even now, she performs at special occasions and appears in films. Her singing tours and appearances these days are rare, and when they do happen, Barbra Streisand tickets sell out almost immediately.
That she is still so widely renowned is no surprise; she is after all one of the most successful entertainer to ever live. While people like Madonna and Elton John have been successful in the music front, and Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth in film, she is the only one to find success and critical acclaim in every art form. Be it stage, screen or studio, Streisand has always excelled. She is also RIAA’s number one selling singer, making her the only female artist to make the top 10. Her style of singing has always been in the Broadway and Jazz genre, which makes her the only person to have received such stardom outside of rock n roll. She has produced over 31 top ten records in her career, which is also a record breaking number. To this date, she has 13 albums that went multi-platinum, 30 that were certified platinum and 51 that were Gold.
Barbra Streisand began her career as a singer in a nightclub while she was just a teenager. While she would perform in all the different clubs in her town, she would dream of being an actress. To put her foot through the door, she joined the "Off Off Broadway Productions", a company that let her appear in a few plays and theatre shows. One of them was called "Driftwood" in which she performed alongside Joan Rivers
, who was also a struggling, unknown artist at that point in time. Even though the show only ran for about six weeks, it gave her the push she needed to progress. Soon, she travelled out of Brooklyn and onto the bigger clubs in Manhattan where she started to become a popular name. She was the star performer at the world famous club, "The Lion". When she travelled out of the state, she met with a lot of rejection. Club owners simply did not like her style, thinking it was too old fashioned. This marked only the beginning of her career. But by 1961, she managed to make her very first appearance on television, where she sang "A Sleepin’ Bee". And by 1964, she was selling out thousands of Barbra Streisand tickets
for her first Broadway show, "Funny Girl".
Because of that show, and for the subsequent Hollywood film that was later made, she began to be known for two songs, "Don’t Rain on My Parade", and "People". The play turned out to be an overnight sensation. Because of its influence, Streisand was the cover girl of Time
magazine that year. Soon, she began her work as a recording artist as well, singing in the style she did best—Broadway and Jazz. She continued on this form of music for nearly the entire 60s. By 1969, however, she decided to switch gears and try on something more upbeat.
As a cultural phenomenon, Streisand has impacted many modern singers and actors. She is often mentioned on the FOX network show, "Glee", as the lead character, Rachel Berry’s ideal. She covers her songs frequently, and has sung "Don’t Rain on My Parade" twice on the show. Moreover, Lea Michelle,
the actress who portrays the character has also stated Streisand as her inspiration. The legend is also mentioned in films such as "In and Out", "The Associate" and "Connie and Carla".
Streisand released her latest album, "What Matters Most" in 2011. When it went number one she became one of few to have a number one album in every decade since the 1960s. Her talent is unlike any other and she has come far and above from the frequently rejected bar singer.
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