Barbara Joan Streisand (born April 24, 1942), known professionally as Barbra Streisand, is an American singer, actress, and filmmaker. With a career spanning over six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment, and is among the few performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT).
Streisand began her career by performing in nightclubs and Broadway theaters in the early 1960s. Following her guest appearances on various television shows, she signed to Columbia Records, insisting that she retain full artistic control, and accepting lower pay in exchange, an arrangement that continued throughout her career, and released her debut The Barbra Streisand Album (1963), which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Throughout her recording career, Streisand has topped the US Billboard 200 chart with 11 albums—a record for a woman—including People (1964), The Way We Were (1974), Guilty (1980), and The Broadway Album (1985). She also achieved five number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100—”The Way We Were”, “Evergreen”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “Woman in Love”.
Following her established recording success in the 1960s, Streisand ventured into film by the end of that decade. She starred in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl (1968), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Additional fame followed with films including the extravagant musical Hello, Dolly! (1969), the screwball comedy What’s Up, Doc? (1972), and the romantic drama The Way We Were (1973). Streisand won a second Academy Award for writing the love theme from A Star Is Born (1976), the first woman to be honored as a composer. With the release of Yentl (1983), Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. The film won an Oscar for Best Score and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical. Streisand also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, becoming the first (and for 37 years, the only) woman to win that award. Streisand later directed The Prince of Tides (1991) and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).
With sales exceeding 150 million records worldwide, Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 68.5 million certified album units tying with Mariah Carey. Billboard ranked Streisand as the greatest female artist on the Billboard 200 chart and the top Adult Contemporary female artist of all time. Her accolades include two Academy Awards, 10 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes.
Duets (retitled Star Collection in some countries) is a compilation album by American singer Barbra Streisand, released on November 26, 2002, by Columbia Records. The collection features nineteen duets from Streisand’s career, including two newly-recorded ones: “I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” with Barry Manilow and “All I Know of Love” with Josh Groban. The former song was released as the album’s lead single on November 4, 2002, as a streaming-only exclusive for AOL Music website members. Duets was reissued in South American countries in 2013 under the title Star Collection with new artwork.
The compilation was executively produced by Streisand and her manager, Jay Landers. Music critics highlighted the album’s duets with Ray Charles, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra, but were disappointed by her decision to release another compilation album following The Essential Barbra Streisand, which was released earlier in 2002. Commercially, the album peaked within the top ten of record charts in Denmark and the Netherlands; it also entered the Billboard 200 at number 38 and became certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of 500,000 copies. Duets has gone on to sell 1.5 million records worldwide.
During 2002, Streisand and Columbia Records released two compilation albums, with the first one being The Essential Barbra Streisand, a greatest hits album mostly consisting of the singer’s top ten hits and top forty hits. Later that year, on November 26, she released Duets, a compilation of nineteen duets from her music catalog. The collection was executively produced by Streisand and her manager, Jay Landers.
Fourteen out of the album’s nineteen tracks were originally featured on previous Streisand studio albums. In addition, the singer included three songs that were originally performed live with another artist. “I’ve Got a Crush on You”, with Frank Sinatra, initially appeared on his 1993 Duets album, while her rendition of “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” with Harold Arlen was first released on his 1966 studio album Harold Sings Arlen (With Friend). Her medley of “Get Happy / Happy Days Are Here Again” with Judy Garland was originally performed live on The Judy Garland Show in 1963. With eighteen of the album’s songs being duets with other musicians, Streisand’s medley of “One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House Is Not a Home” is a duet with herself, first released on the 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand.
Streisand recorded two new tracks for the album: “I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” with Barry Manilow and “All I Know of Love” with Josh Groban. The former track was written by Richard Marx and Manilow, while the latter was written by David Foster and Linda Thompson.
“I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” was released as the album’s lead and only single on November 4, 2002, as an exclusive download for AOL Music website members. Although the track was not released commercially, “I Won’t Be the One to Let Go” was distributed as a promotional CD single on January 6, 2003. With the release handled by Columbia Records, the CD was sent exclusively to United States radio stations and includes the “Radio Version Edit” and “Radio Version” releases of the song. In 2013, Sony Music Entertainment rereleased the compilation in South American countries with a new cover art, but identical track listing, under the title Star Collection.
Duets entered and peaked on the Billboard 200 at number 38, during the week of December 14, 2002. It was the chart’s eleventh highest debut and would go to spend fourteen weeks on the listing. On January 9, 2003, it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for physical shipments of 500,000 copies, and during the year-end Billboard 200 chart in 2003, the compilation was listed at number 176. As of June 22, 2007, Duets has sold 561,000 copies in the United States, outselling its predecessor (The Essential Barbra Streisand) by 55,000 copies. In Oceania, the album peaked in Australia and New Zealand at numbers 13 and 11, respectively. In the two aforementioned countries, it received a Gold certification by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 35,000 copies and a Platinum certification by Recorded Music NZ for shipments of 15,000 copies.
The album entered several record charts across Europe as well. According to the Official Charts Company, it peaked at numbers 39 and 30, in Scotland and the United Kingdom, respectively. In the latter country, the compilation spent 6 weeks charting during 2002 and was ranked on the year-end sales charts at position 89. In Denmark and the Netherlands, Duets peaked within the top ten at numbers 10 and 9, respectively. The album reached number 26 in Spain and received a Gold certification by PROMUSICAE for shipments of 50,000 copies. Its lowest peak positions were achieved in France, Germany, and Switzerland, where the compilation peaked at numbers 44, 53, and 88, respectively. The album has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.
In her lengthy career, Barbra Streisand has never shown much inclination to share the spotlight. In the movies, she must endure a leading man, but in her recordings, she has gone it alone for the most part. In 1978, however, a disc jockey edited together her and Neil Diamond’s recordings of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” and she and Diamond quickly cut a real duet, resulting in a number one hit. Thereafter, she cannily coaxed others into sharing the microphone, resulting in chart singles with Donna Summer, Barry Gibb, Kim Carnes, former boyfriend Don Johnson, Bryan Adams, and Celine Dion, and album tracks with Johnny Mathis, Michael Crawford, and Vince Gill. The material mostly consisted of mediocre adult contemporary ballads that were outshone by the star power of the singers.
This album collects all those duets, plus a couple of newly recorded mediocre adult contemporary ballads sung with Barry Manilow and Josh Groban, and a few stray tracks from the 1960s and early ’70s when Streisand joined another singer. Her unsuitability to the duet format is repeatedly evidenced, as she seems virtually incapable of shutting up when her partner is trying to take a solo, invariably humming in the background to draw attention back to herself. The only real exception to this rule is the version of “I’ve Got a Crush on You” recorded for Frank Sinatra’s own Duets album, a track Streisand did not control. Naturally, the best performances occur when she is paired with a singer who is more than just a cipher — Sinatra, Ray Charles, or Judy Garland, the latter two in TV performances. Then, of course, there’s the medley of “One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House Is Not a Home” on which she finally finds the perfect duet partner, her overdubbed self! (by William Ruhlmann)
Barbra Streisand (vocals)
many, many studio musicians
01. I Won’t Be The One To Let You Go (w/Barry Manilow) (Marx/Manilow) (new recording; 2002) 4.40
02. Guilty (w/Barry Gibb) (B.Gibb/R.Gibb/M.Gibb) (1980) 4.25
03. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (w/Neil Diamond) (A.Bergman/M.Bergman/Diamond) (1978) 3.25
04. I Finally Found Someone (w/Bryan Adams) (Streisand/Hamlisch/Lane/Adams) (1996) 3.42
05. Cryin’ Time (w/Ray Charles) (Owens) (1991) 2.18
06. I’ve Got A Crush On You (w/Frank Sinatra) (G.Gershwin(I.Gershwin) (1993) 3.23
07. Tell Him (w/Celine Dion) (Foster/Thompson/Afanasieff) (1987) 4.53
08. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (w/Donna Summer) (Jabara/Roberts) (1979) 4.43
09. What Kind Of Fool (w/Barry Gibb) (B.Gibb/Galuten) (1989) 4.07
10. I Have A Love / One Hand, One Heart (w/Johnny Mathis) (Bernstein/Sondheim) (1993) 4.45
11. One Less Bell To Answer / A House Is Not A Home (Dubbed Duet) (Bacharach/David) (1971) 6.32
12. Lost Inside Of You (w/Kris Kristofferson) (Streisand/Russell) (1976) 2.55
13. Till I Loved You (w/Don Johnson) (Yeston) (1988) 4.17
14. Make No Mistake, He’s Mine (w/Kim Carnes) (Carnes) (1984) 4.11
15. If You Ever Leave Me (w/Vince Gill) (Marx) (1999) 4.38
16. The Music Of The Night (w/Michael Crawford) (Webber/Hart/Stilgoe) (1993) 5.38
17. Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead (w/Harold Arlen) (Arlen/Harburg) (1966) 1.54
18. Get Happy / Happy Days Are Here Again (w/Judy Garland) (Arlen/Koehler/Yellen) (1963) 2.22
19. All I Know Of Love (w/Josh Grobin) (Foster/Thompson) (new recording; 2002) 4.29
The official website: