Barbra StreisandPop | 2008
In 1942, Barbra Streisand was born Barbara Joan Streisand in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
An honor student at Erasmus High School, Streisand decided to skip college and move to Manhattan and work as a cabaret singer. In 1962, she signed with Columbia Records, and her debut album, Pins and Needles, became the nation’s top-selling record by a female vocalist.
Her early music career led to her appearance on stage in the musicals I Can Get It for You Wholesale and the 1964 comedy Funny Girl (the film version would garner her an Academy Award in 1968). Soon, Streisand was offered a contract with CBS Television to produce and star in a variety of TV specials, including My Name is Barbra and Color Me Barbra. During the 1970s, she was ever-present on the pop charts, with number-one records such as “The Way We Were,” “Evergreen” (for which, in 1976, she received her second Academy Award), “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” and “Woman In Love.” Streisand returned to her musical theater roots with 1985’s triple-platinum The Broadway Album, which was No. 1 on Billboard for three consecutive weeks. The album, featuring songs arranged and re-imagined by Stephen Sondheim, was critically acclaimed; it was nominated as Album of the Year and landed Streisand her eighth Grammy as Best Female Vocalist. To this day, Streisand continues to be the best-selling female recording artist ever.