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Happy Birthday to a Funny Girl (Streisand Turns 70)

Barbra Streisand

Icon Barbra Streisand

Barbara Streisand turns 70 years old today. As she celebrates her 70th birthday the legendary entertainer, that broke all the rules, is still doing things her way.

In 1962, a teenage singer from Brooklyn, named Barbra Streisand, appeared on the television talk show PM East and gay bars across the country turned off their music so their patrons could watch. Streisand was completely unpredictable. When the host, reporter Mike Wallace, asked her what she was going to sing next, she replied simply, “The Kinsey Report.”

With her perfect figure, prominent nose, and a voice that one critic called a “natural wonder of the age” — Streisand was stomping her way into the big time, at a time when beauty and talent were measured by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. For gay men, Streisand was Fabulousness defined. As always, what the gay community first identified as Special eventually became the thing everybody wanted. It wasn’t long before Miss Streisand was the biggest star in the world.

Barbra Streisand

Nearly half a century and just a few generations later, Streisand is cool again. At the clubs, Duck Sauce’s catchy mix, “Barbra Streisand,” rules the dance floor. There’s barely an episode of Glee that doesn’t feature Streisand’s music, name, or image. The Glee character Rachel Berry is almost an exact impression of Barbara as a young singer. Funny Girl, the show that gave her Broadway stardom in ’64, is being revived. Next year her road-trip comedy with Seth Rogen, Guilt Trip, is set to hit theaters. Also next year (if the showbiz gods are kind) Streisand will star in a new version of Gypsy. To top it all off, this week she releases her 64th album, What Matters Most.

So from all of us to Barbara, Have a wonderful birthday you Funny Girl. <3

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