Barbra Streisand, living legend, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during her visit to Israel next month. In a statement released Monday, The Hebrew University said Streisand will be presented with the doctorate in recognition of her “professional achievements, outstanding humanitarianism, leadership in the realm of human and civil rights, and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people”.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, stated:
Barbra Streisand’s transcendent talent is matched by her passionate concern for equality and opportunity for people of every gender and background. Equally important, her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career. We are deeply proud to honor an individual who exemplifies these values which we at the Hebrew University share and uphold.
Fifty years ago this week, an original, audacious and gifted singer from Brooklyn entered the Billboard album chart for the first time. Barbra Streisand, who was not yet 21 when her debut album charted, was unconventional from the start, from the quirky way she altered the spelling of her first name to the defiant way she refused to alter the shape of her nose.
Those characteristics—originality, audaciousness and blazing talent—have made Streisand the most successful female singer of all time.
Here’s a sampling of some of the records she holds:
Most No. 1 albums by a female artist (nine). Among women, Madonna is in second place with eight. Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Britney Spears are tied for third place with six each.
Longest span of No. 1 albums by a female artist. Streisand landed her first No. 1 album, People, on Oct. 31, 1964. She scored her most recent, Love Is The Answer, on Oct. 17, 2009. That gives her a nearly 45 year span of No. 1 albums. Only one artist in chart history, Elvis Presley, has had a longer span of No. 1 albums. The King first topped the chart in May 1956 with Elvis Presley and scored most recently in October 2002 with Elv1s: 30 No. 1 Hits, a span of more than 46 years.
Only solo artist (male or female) with at least one No. 1 album in each of the last five decades. Streisand has had at least one No. 1 album in every decade from the 1960s through the 2000s. John Lennon and Paul McCartney have also achieved this feat, but only in combination with their Beatles work.
Most top 10 albums by a female artist (32). The tally includes three movie soundtracks, two TV soundtracks, a Broadway cast album, three compilations and three live albums.Among women, Madonna is in second place with 20, followed by Mariah Carey with 16.
Longest span of top 10 albums by a female artist. Streisand scored her first top 10 album, The Barbra Streisand Album, in July 1963. She scored her most recent, the compilation Release Me, on Oct. 27, 2012. This gives her a more than 49-year span of top 10 albums.Frank Sinatra is the all-time champ. His top 10 albums span from March 1946 (The Voice Of Frank Sinatra) to August 2012 (Nothing But The Best), more than 63 years.
The unstoppable Barbra Streisand will be 71 when she embarks on her just announced tour of Europe, including first-ever appearances in Amsterdam and Cologne!
The press release:
I’m not going to dissect or review The Performance since it was a) it was in honour of Marvin and b) flawless, majestic and easily her greatest moment in the 21st Century. I will point out that she knocked the look out of the park and I especially loved the white-witch hand jewellery and the return of the talons, painted a dusty rose to complement but not compete with the gorgeous gold. The official description:
“The Donna Karan New York gown worn by Barbra Streisand in her performance at the 85th Annual Academy awards was designed by Ms. Karan, specifically for the artist. Entitled ‘City Lights’ the black asymmetrical, bias-cut dress is a waterfall of chiffon layers encrusted with matte gold sequins and beads. A long sleeve capelet adds the final layer of chiffon, its back dramatically falling to the floor.The Donna Karan New York gown worn by Barbra Streisand in her performance at the 85th Annual Academy awards was designed by Ms. Karan, specifically for the artist. Entitled ‘City Lights’ the black asymmetrical, bias-cut dress is a waterfall of chiffon layers encrusted with matte gold sequins and beads. A long sleeve capelet adds the final layer of chiffon, its back dramatically falling to the floor.”
“Even Adele has revealed herself to be a Barbra Queen, admitting to being “extra nervous” about performing “Skyfall” in front of Streisand, whom she calls her “idol.” Gossipy websites are posting dubious stories that Barbra has installed a new yoga room in one of her mansions, flying in European facial experts and flogging Donna Karan around the clock to create a selection of gowns, all as part of her notoriously-nervous preparations for the big night.”
My piece on Barbra’s big reveal this Sunday night here at the Huffington Post.
BREAKING (AP): Barbra Streisand is undergoing a million-dollar makeover to make sure her first Academy Awards performance since 1977 is one that nobody will ever forget.
The 70-year-old superstar has hired personal trainers and a nutritionist, and flown in “facial specialists” from Europe.
Barbra has also installed a state-of-the-art gym, a performance studio and a meditation room in her Malibu mansion and ordered several custom designer gowns so she has options for the big night.
“All told, Barbra will have spent almost $1 million,” a source said, adding that Streisand wants to drop at least 20 pounds from her 5-foot-5 frame.
“She also brings in facial experts from Europe regularly and will have them on-call throughout Oscar week.”
Bab’s asked her close friend, designer Donna Karan to create “at least five one-of-a-kind couture gowns,” which will cost at least $100,000.
Icons collided at the 1970 Oscars, when reigning Best Actress Barbra Streisand (she’d tied for the award the previous year with Katharine Hepburn, who only ever attended the Oscars, begrudgingly, once, and in her gardening clothes and that clip is below for you reference) presented John Wayne with his Best Actor Oscar for True Grit.
You’ll enjoy this clip so much since it shows that Barbra was yet to jettison the Funny Girl persona that brought her to fame. It was such an engaging, original act made so retro now by her cascading evolutions through the years that currently have her as a billionairess Malibu Dowager, which is also one of her most interesting personae.
The crew of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever welcome Barbra back to the set the morning after her triumph at the 1969 Academy Awards, where she tied with Katharine Hepburn in the Best Actress category to win the first of her two Oscars.
She’s the woman who wanted everything, got everything, but what’s perhaps most interesting is that she just keeps doing everything.
Having just turned 70, the woman embarked on a US-Canada stadium tour days after filing wrapped on The Guilt Trip. The day after that tour wrapped, she began a month long promotional journey for the movie, then agreed out of the blue to perform at the Oscars (held in two weeks time) for the first time in 36 years.
Oh, and last week she gathered with dozens of other Democrat power brokers at Norman Lear’s mansion for a dinner hosted by Nancy Pelosi to discuss ways to win back the Senate.
And now, news from Berlin that Barbra has signed a directing deal with production company Aldamisa International. No title has been announced, but the deal involves Streisand “mulling several projects” and committing to directing at least one new feature.
“We are thrilled to provide underwriting for a filmmaker of her vision, stature and accomplishment,” said Aldamisa president of international sales and acquistions Nadine de Barros, who is in Berlin at the European FilmMarket.
When she refers to herself as “a work in progress”, she’s not kidding, and that’s with the emphasis on the word “work”
The 65th Annual Academy Awards, held in 1993 as you can tell instantly by observing Barbra’s then-new look, which she was trialling for her comeback concerts at the end of that year (she wore the identical outfit including the necklace and hairstyle) had the theme “Women In The Movies”.
Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood’s exemplary Western, won most of the major awards, beating out competition from The Crying Game and Howard’s End among others.
Eastwood won Best Director, his first of two that night (also as producer and first of two Best Directors, the next in 2004 for Million Dollar Baby - and another for producing that too) and guess who presented the award in that category that year?
Never one to simply follow the teleprompter and announce the nominees and then the winners (remember in 1987 when after opening the envelope she sung the opening lines of the song The Way We Were before announcing that Sydney Pollack - her director in the movie, The Way We Were - had won Best Director for Out of Africa? Honestly, even I felt embarrassed.)
Barbra, looking radiant, glided onto the stage to wild applause. Bracing herself at the dais, she delivered this incredible pre-category speech that at various points, brought the house down: