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Barbra Joan Streisand (born Barbara Joan Streisand; /?stra?s?nd/; April 24, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, writer, film producer, and director. She has won two Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors award, a Peabody Award, and is one of the few entertainers who has won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.
She is one of the most commercially and critically successful entertainers in modern entertainment history, with more than 71.5 million albums shipped in the United States and 140 million records sold worldwide. She is the best-selling female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) Top Selling Album Artists list, the only female recording artist in the top ten, and the only artist outside of the rock and roll genre. Along with Frank Sinatra, Cher and Shirley Jones, she shares the distinction of being awarded an acting Oscar and also recording a number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After beginning a successful recording career in the 1960s, by the end of the decade, Streisand ventured into film starring in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl (1968) and Hello, Dolly! (1969), the former for which she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Other notable films include The Owl and the Pussycat, The Way We Were and A Star Is Born for which she received her second Academy Award (which she shared with Paul Williams who wrote the lyrics) for composing the music to the picture’s main song and love theme, Evergreen. By the 1980s, Streisand established herself as one of the film industry’s most notable figures by becoming the first woman to direct, produce, script and star in her own picture.
According to the RIAA, Streisand holds the record for the most top-ten albums of any female recording artist – a total of 32 since 1963. Streisand has the widest span (48 years) between first and latest top-ten albums of any female recording artist. With her 2009 album, Love Is the Answer, she became one of the rare artists to achieve number-one albums in five consecutive decades. According to the RIAA, she has released 51 Gold albums, 30 Platinum albums, and 13 Multi-Platinum albums in the United States.Barbara Joan Streisand (see name change) was born on April 24, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Diana (ne'e Ida Rosen) and Emanuel Streisand. Her mother was at one time a singer and her father was a high school teacher. Her family was Jewish; her paternal grandparents immigrated from Galicia and her maternal grandparents from Russia. Fifteen months after Streisand's birth, her father died of a cerebral hemorrhage and the family fell into near-poverty. She has an older brother, Sheldon, and a half-sister, the singer Roslyn Kind, from her mother's re-marriage, to Louis Kind, in 1949. Roslyn Kind is nine years younger than Streisand.
Streisand went to the Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva of Brooklyn, giving a solo performance at the age of seven. She later attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and joined the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club. Streisand has recollected, "I'm so glad I came from Brooklyn – it's down to earth."
Streisand became a nightclub singer while in her teens. She wanted to be an actress and appeared in summer stock and in a number of Off-Off-Broadway productions, including Driftwood (1959), with then-unknown Joan Rivers. (In her autobiography, Rivers wrote that she played a lesbian with a crush on Streisand's character, but this was later denied by the play's author.) Driftwood ran for only six weeks.
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