There’s not much left to say about Barbra Streisand that hasn’t been printed thousands of times since she rose to prominence in the early 1960s. The beloved multi-hyphenate entertainer turns 73 years old today (also the start of White Party, coincidence?) and besides being renowned as an outspoken and tireless advocate for LGBT equality and women’s health and all-around mensch, she’s also won every award known to humankind for her acting and singing, collaborated with virtually every other entertainer of note, and forever changed the way society defines feminine beauty. At this point in her career, you either love her, really, really love her or are too obsessed with Britney to be bothered. Regardless, let’s take a troll down her memory lane for a quartet of lesser-known but still choice Streisand moments from her storied half-century career.
In 1963, before she received her big Hollywood makeover and when she was still frequently referred to as “bohemian” or “kooky,” Barbra sang a bewitching rendition of her hit “Gotta Move” on a Bob Hope comedy special.
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After she won an Oscar for her film debut in 1968’s Funny Girl, Barbra was now the biggest female star in the entertainment galaxy and rarely performed in public, due to stage fright after forgetting lyrics during a 1967 concert. In 1972, she faced her fears head-on (with the help of a joint she *allegedly* smoked onstage — hey, it was the ’70s) to raise funds for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. Listen to her monologue below.
In 1975, Barbra appeared in Funny Girl to Funny Lady (a nod to her film debut and its sequel which was about to be released), a television special taped live in Washington, D.C. that benefited the Special Olympics. It was so rare to experience her singing live that even President Gerald Ford attended. Barbra took the stage to rapturous applause to perform one of her biggest hits, “The Way We Were.”
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Here’s a rarely-heard long remix of her hit theme to the 1979 rom-com The Main Event, which provided her initial foray into disco. Later that year at her son Jason’s urging, she’d duet with Donna Summer on another massive dance hit “No More Tears (Enough is Enough).”
So join us in wishing Barbra a very happy 73rd birthday and if you want to delve deeper into the superstar’s fascinating life and career, go here.