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Barbra Streisand – «Funny Girl»
 
Barbra Streisand was born  in Brooklyn, New York. Her Jewish paternal grandparents immigrated from Galicia and her maternal grandparents came from Russia. 
 
Streisand recorded her first demos in 1955, at the age of only 13, at the Nola Recording Studios in New York City: "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and "You'll Never Know". 
 
Her boyfriend, Barry Dennen, helped her create a club act – first performed at The Lion, a popular gay nightclub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village in 1960 – and very quickly she began "touring" local night clubs, including the legendary Bon Soir and the Blue Angel. It was at one of such venues, that she was noticed by a TV performer who recommended her to The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Paar, in 1961, to sing Harold Arlen's "A Sleepin' Bee".
 
Westinghouse Broadcasting, which aired the television show in a select few cities, methodically wiped all the videotapes soon after broadcasting them. But audio  segments from some episodes were recorded by Streisand's fans, and became the basis of her CD Just for the Record, which went platinum in 1991. 
 
Her first film role was in a reprise of her Broadway hit, Funny Girl (1968), an artistic and commercial smash hit, directed by Hollywood veteran William Wyler. The role brought Streisand her first Academy Award.
 
According to Streisand herself, she changed her name because she wanted to be special but willing to keep connection to her parents - she decided that changing Barbara to the similar-sounding but more exotic Barbra was just the right way...
 
Streisand is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with more than 71.5 million albums in the United States (including 51 Gold albums, 30 Platinum albums, and 13 Multi-Platinum) and 245 million records sold worldwide. She is also 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!
 
Barbra has been married twice: to actor Elliott Gould, with whom she had one child, and to  another actor, James Brolin. It was also reported that in 1969 and 1970, she dated Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. 
 
She is the unwilling discoverer of the so-called Streisand Effect. In 2003 she sued an aerial photographer for displaying on the Internet a photograph of her Malibu, California home, meant to demostrate erosion of coastline. The image had been downloaded only 6 times, but soon after the news about the lawsuit broke, the number of downloads jumped to tens and hundreds of thousands, and the image was duplicated on multiple websites!
 
Sources:
Andersen, Christopher (2006). Barbra: The Way She Is.
"Barbra Streisand". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org
 

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