Booking Barbra Streisand
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Barbra Streisand is the only artist, ever to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Medal of Arts and Peabody Awards and France’s Legion d’Honneur as well as the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the first female film director to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
She won Oscars for both Best Actress (Funny Girl ) and Best Original Song (for her composition of Evergreen which has since become a standard.) She also was nominated for Best Actress for The Way We Were. The three films she directed received 14 Oscar nominations. A leading film star in dramas, comedies and musicals, her latest film, Meet The Fockers, became the first live-action comedy to earn over half a billion dollars and remains the highest-grossing comedy..
An eight-time Grammy Award winner who is the only performer to have number one albums in five consecutive decades, her 51 gold albums, 30 platinum and 18 multi-platinum, each of which, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, exceeds all other female singers. Only Elvis Presley has achieved more Gold albums than she. The RIAA also notes that her 71 million albums sales tops the RIAA list of album sales by a female singer. With the recent debut at #1 of her Love Is The Answer album, her 9th record to reach that top spot, the time-span between her first and most recent Number One albums, exceeding that of any other performer or act, is now 46 years.
The career of Barbra Streisand has been paved with bold, creative achievements and highlighted by a series of firsts.
For her first motion picture, ‘Funny Girl,’ she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress, the first of two Oscars.
With Yentl (1983, ) her first film as a director, she became the first woman ever to produce, direct, write and star in a major motion picture. Yentl, earned five Oscar nominations and also brought her Golden Globes for both Best Director and Best Picture.
‘The Prince of Tides,’ her next directorial feature, was the first motion picture directed by its female star ever to receive a Best Director nomination from the Directors Guild of America as well as seven Academy Award nominations. Barbra Streisand produced the heralded drama in addition to directing and starring in it.
She won the DGA award (Best Director Music/Variety Television Program) in 1994 for her television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert, which she co-directed with Dwight Hemion.
For her very first Broadway appearance in ‘I Can Get It For You Wholesale,’ she won the New York Drama Critics Award and received a Tony nomination.
For her very first solo recording, The Barbra Streisand Album,’ she won two 1963 Grammy Awards. One of these was for Best Female Vocal Performance. The other, Album of the Year; made her the youngest artist, to have received that award.
She is the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award, this for her song, ‘Evergreen,’ the love theme from her 1976 hit film, ‘A Star Is Born.’ She was nominated again in 1997 as co-composer of ‘I Finally Found Someone,’ based on her love theme for her 1996 film as director/producer/star, ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces.’ The film achieved two Oscar nominations and the Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for Lauren Bacall.
Her first television special, My Name Is Barbra (1965,) received five Emmy Awards, including one for her for best performance,. as well as the distinguished Peabody Award, the first of two. . This achievement was repeated 30 years later by ‘Barbra Streisand: The Concert’ which won two additional Emmy awards for Ms. Streisand among the five for the production. That show also was accorded the Peabody Award, the Directors Guild of America award and three CableACE awards and it became the highest-rated musical event in HBO’s history. Her 2001 television concert special, Barbra Streisand: Timeless. Live in Concert, also co-directed by its star, won four more Emmys, including one for Ms. Streisand’s performance.
DVD releases of her concerts have achieved notable recent firsts. In 2009 her three-disc offering, Streisand The Concerts, reigned in the #1 position on the Music DVD Billboard charts for three weeks. A year later, One Night Only, capturing her heralded performance at the Village Vanguard before an audience of one hundred lottery-picked fans and some of her notable friends, opened at #1 as well.
Recipient in 1995 of an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis University, she has also received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton, was accorded The Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign. and was honored by France as a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. Additionally, French President Nikolas Sarkozy presented her with France’s Legion Of Honour.
An honor student at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, the teenage Streisand plunged, unassisted and without encouragement, into show business by winning a singing contest at a small Manhattan club. She developed a devout and growing following at the clubs which began hiring her, and soon she was attracting music industry attention at such spots as the Bon Soir and the Blue Angel.
Streisand signed a contract with Columbia Records in 1962, and her debut album quickly became the nation’s top-selling record by a female vocalist.
Following her award-winning stage debut performance in ‘I Can Get It For You Wholesale,’ she was signed to play the great comedienne Fanny Brice in the Broadway production of ‘Funny Girl.’ When the curtain came down at the Winter Garden Theatre on March 26, 1964, the star and the show were major hits. Her distinctly original musical-comedy performance won her a second Tony nomination.
Her star on the ascent, she signed a 10-year contract with CBS Television to produce and star in TV specials. The contract gave her complete artist,ic control, an unheard of concession to an artist, so young and inexperienced. The first special, ‘My Name Is Barbra,’ earned five Emmy Awards, and the following four shows, including the memorable ‘Color Me Barbra,’ earned the highest critical praise and audience ratings.
Few movie debuts have been as auspicious as Streisand’s in Columbia Pictures’ ‘Funny Girl. In addition to winning the 1968 Academy Award for this performance, she won the Golden Globe and was named Star of the Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners.
After appearing in the films ‘Hello, Dolly!’ and ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,’ she starred in the non-musical comedy ‘The Owl and the Pussycat,’ released in 1970. 1972 brought another resounding comedy hit, ‘What’s Up Doc?,’ followed by ‘Up the Sandbox,’ one of the first American films to deal with the growing women’s movement. It was the premiere picture for her own production company, Barwood Films.
The memorable motion picture ‘The Way We Were’ brought her a 1973 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The very successful ‘A Star Is Born,’ released in 1976, was the first movie to benefit from her energy and insight as a producer and won six Golden Globes. The soundtrack album topped the charts and has been certified quadruple-platinum.
Shortly after Streisand had completed her first movie, she read a short story titled ‘Yentl, The Yeshiva Boy’ and hoped to make it her second film. However, it took 15 years of development and persistence before the dream came true.
‘Yentl,’ a romantic drama with music, is about a courageous woman who discovers that nothing is impossible in matters of the heart and mind. Streisand’s directorial debut film received five 1983 Academy Award nominations, and she received Golden Globe Awards both as Best Director and as producer of the Best Picture (musical or comedy) of 1983. The 10 Golden Globes she has received throughout her career are the most achieved by any entertainment artist,. In January 2000 she received that organization’s coveted Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
REVIEW OF BARBRA STREISAND RECORDING ACHIEVEMENTS:
The statistics of Barbra Streisand’s achievements as a recording sales leader are clearly drawn in platinum and gold. She has achieved sales unequaled by any other female recording artist,. With fifty-one gold albums, she is second in the all-time charts, ahead of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, exceeded only by Elvis. Thus, she is the only artist, among the top four all-time gold record sellers who was not part of the rock & roll revolution which has dominated the record business for four decades. Her 51 gold and thirty platinum albums, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, exceed all other female singers. In fact, it exceeds any recording artist, or act other than Elvis Presley.
The RIAA also noted that with 71 million albums sold she is the only female artists to have achieved thirteen multi-platinum albums (including the soundtrack for her motion picture ‘A Star Is Born.’) Her recordings have earned her eight Grammy Awards and Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement and Legend Awards in the process. She has had number one albums in each of the last five decades, a record not even approached by any individual or group. Her number one albums span a period of nearly 45 years, also the greatest longevity in that statistic for any recording entity in any category of music. A millennium poll by the Reuters news agency identified her as the favorite female singer of the 20th Century and Frank Sinatra as the favorite male singer.
Her most recent Columbia Records album Love Is The Answer, with its debut in the #1 position on the charts, established her having had number one albums in five consecutive decades, became her ninth #1 album. Her prior release, Streisand _ Live In Concert 2006, opened its sales as #7 on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart, a rare achievement for a double album. Love Is The Answer became the 8th Barbra Streisand album to debut in the Top 10. With a total of 30 Top 10 albums to her credit since 1963, Ms. Streisand has the widest span (46 years) between first and latest Top 10 albums of any female recording artists or act and she holds the record for most Top 10 albums by female performers. Her first solo album, The Barbra Streisand Album, reached #8 in 1963, while her follow-up, The Second Barbra Streisand Album achieved #2 the same year.
Her ‘A Love Like Ours’ (1999), the double album, ‘Timeless – Live In Concert’ (2000) and ‘The Movie Album’ (2003) were all quickly certified as gold and then platinum. Her prior ‘Higher Ground’ (1997) and earlier ‘Back To Broadway’ (1993) albums are among only a handful of recordings ever to become Number One on the sales charts in their initial week of release (Ms. Streisand now has three) and to go platinum through their first shipping orders. The previous ‘The Broadway Album’ (1985) similarly enjoyed great praise and sales, became #1 and brought her three Grammy nominations and her eighth Grammy for Best Pop Female Vocalist. The double-album ‘Barbra Streisand: The Concert’ (1994) was another recent effort in her parade of hits. ‘Higher Ground’ occasioned two additional Grammy nominations. ‘Timeless: Live In Concert’ (2000), ‘Christmas Memories’ (2001) and ‘The Movie Album’ (2003), all earned a nomination too. At home in pop, show tunes, rock and ballads, she even made a classical album titled ‘Classical Barbra’ (1976) which was nominated for a Grammy Award in the classical division. Of all her releases, 1980’s ‘Guilty,’ Barbra’s collaboration with Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees, achieved the greatest success worldwide, selling over 20 million units and spawning several smash hit singles. The pair teamed up again, 25 years later, to create ‘Guilty Pleasures’. The album was certified Gold — a month later.
Another of Ms. Streisand’s recent albums, Guilty Pleasures, quickly became her 50th gold. Among other notable recent albums, ‘Christmas Memories,’ released in October 2001, was her first full-length studio album since 1999’s ‘A Love Like Ours. ‘Christmas Memories’ was Streisand’s first seasonal collection since ‘A Christmas Album,’ which has been certified quintuple- platinum by the RIAA and has re-entered the charts each year since its 1967 release. An album of inspirational music for all seasons, ‘Christmas Memories’ was ‘lovingly dedicated’ to Stephan Weiss, the husband of designer Donna Karan and a close friend of Streisand’s, who passed away in June 2001. Her recent 3 disc video set, Streisand The Concerts became her eighth gold DVD or video and fifth platinum within two months after being number one in sales for three weeks. On September 26, 2009 she returned to the site of her start as a singer, Greenwich Village, for a performance at the Village Vanguard for an audience of lucky fans selected at random. The event preceded the release of her 63rd album, Love Is The Answer.
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