Brooklyn-born Barbra Streisand may arguably be the biggest and best American songstress of all time. The multi-talented singer is also an accomplished stage and screen actress who joins an elite, small club of entertainers who have won an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award.
Words like “superstar” and “icon” somehow don’t seem big enough for the virtual living musical legacy who started as a teenage night club singer and went on to forge a career spanning five decades which produced a staggering 50 studio albums which collectively sold more than 145 million copies worldwide. Choosing Barbra Streisand’s Top 10 song is understandably a daunting task. Here are the ones that made the cut for this piece, but the list of Barbra Streisand's fabulous songs could easily stretch as long as her jaw-dropping, award-winning discography.
Barbra’s slow and bluesy 1962 take on this upbeat classic was a focal piece in her debut album The Barbra Streisand Album. Her talent simply couldn’t be denied and little did she know when she performed the song with Judy Garland on “The Judy Garland Show” that she would go on to become one of the biggest legends in the music industry.
9. “Papa, Can You Hear Me?”
This 1983 song from Yentl held so much significance for Barbra Streisand beyond her goosebump-inducing performance in the film. She directed, co-produced, co-wrote and starred in the film for which she became the first woman to receive a Best Director Golden Globe. The film also won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy that year. Her gripping and emotional performance of the song was one of the most moving and memorable scenes in the film.
This song was a 1979 duet with disco diva Donna Summer and shot straight to the top of the U.S. charts. It’ s fun, feisty and fierce and features Barbra at her fiery vocal best.
This haunting duet was with Neil Diamond. The pain the couple at the center of the song endures is so vividly drawn. Streisand’s silky-smooth vocal floats over her lines and into her listeners’ hearts. The song marks one of her many No. 1 hits and was recorded as a solo cover on Songbird in 1978 and then re-released as a single duet with Diamond and it appears on Barbra Streisand’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2.
6. “Woman in Love”
This smoldering ballad was written by Bee Gees member Barry Gibb for Streisand’s U.S. chart-topping 1980 album Guilty. This track was the lead single and stayed at the top of the U.S. and international charts for weeks. It’s a beautiful song and the way she sustains the word “all” mid-song is breathtaking.
This 1964 hit from one of Barbra Streisand’s most memorable Broadway performances as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl.” Streisand earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance and the song went on to become one of her career-defining, signature songs.
Barbra Streisand’s critically-acclaimed and chart-topping 1985 The Broadway Album is arguably one of the best in her legendary discography. David Foster arranged this haunting and incomparable version for Streisand’s album. It could arguably rival and/or surpass any version that has ever been performed in Broadway’s “West Side Story.” It’s chill-inducing. Period.
The 1976 film remake in which Barbra Streisand starred alongside Kris Kristofferson was both a commercial and critical success. She co-wrote and sang the delicate, heartfelt love theme, “Evergreen,” which won the Oscar for Best Song from a Motion Picture and Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
2. “The Way We Were”
This 1973 Oscar-winning song is considered by many to be one of the best film songs of all time. It’s the title song to the film in which Barbra Streisand stars alongside Oscar-winning onscreen hunk Robert Redford. It’s sad, beautiful and no one can bring it to life with the longing and love that Barbra Streisand delivers.
This beautiful song has such a magical, timeless message. Barbra Streisand first performed it in 1964's “Funny Girl.” While many other artists have covered it, the song remains one of Streisand’s signature songs. It carries the distinction of being ranked #13 on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Songs list and the single became Streisand’s first Top 40 hit, peaking at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Pop chart.