Hit ParadeSlate

Hit Parade: Hello, Gorgeous Edition

Barbra Streisand was the Taylor Swift of her era—a self-powered Queen of All Media who set major chart records. And she might not be done.

Barbra Streisand: star of stage and screen. Oscar-winner, film director and TV producer. Culture warrior and meme generator.

Yes, all that—but don’t get it twisted: Barbra’s legend rests in her catalog of hit songs—and that voice.

Even as culture vultures consume her recent doorstop of a memoir My Name Is Barbra, what’s getting overlooked are Streisand’s awesome musical benchmarks, especially on the Billboard charts. All of those records Taylor Swift has been setting on the album chart, and Billie Eilish on the Grammys? Babs got there first.

At a time when rock was ascendant and showtunes were on the wane, Streisand set her own pop agenda, scoring brassy hits that weren’t trendy but topped the charts anyway. She became a pop star, Broadway legend and box-office commander practically simultaneously.
Join Chris Molanphy as he tells the story of the original Queen of All Media and explains how she racked up all those hits your mom loved (be honest, you know them too) and made “memories, like the corners of [your] mind.” Trust us: It’ll be like buttah.

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.

Content retrieved from: https://slate.com/podcasts/hit-parade/2024/02/how-barbra-became-the-original-taylor.