By Phyllis Pollack
Eight-time Grammy winner and Grammy Legend and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Barbra Streisand will be honored as the 2011 MusiCares® Person of the Year at its 21st annual benefit gala.
The benefit gala will be held in Los Angeles, California , stated during Grammy Week on Friday, Feb. 11, 201, two days prior to the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.
The announcement was made iby Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation® and The Recording Academy®, and Paul Caine, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. Proceeds from the dinner and concert honoring Streisand will provide much-needed support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.
The legendary singer, actress, author and activist is being honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of her renowned creative accomplishments as well as her philanthropic work, which has included an extraordinary range of charitable activities over the years.
Among the charities that have benefited from Streisand’s generosity are organizations benefiting women’s health. Concerned about the lack of attention paid to female medical patients’ heart issues compared to their male counterparts, she became active with what became the Barbara Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program, headed by Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center. Streisand has stated, “Women need to be educated about female cardiovascular disease, and the medical community must be propelled towards change.” Streisand has contributed to womens’ health programs through the Streisand Foundation since 1986.
“Barbra Streisand is a genuine Renaissance woman, someone for whom artistry and philanthropy go hand in hand,” said Portnow. “The enormous talent, passion and dedication she brings to her creative projects, whether film, television or music, are matched by the generosity and commitment she devotes to her charitable causes. It is fitting to celebrate the incredible legacy of Barbra at our 21st Annual MusiCares Person of the Year tribute.”
“Barbra is synonymous with artistic excellence,” said Caine. “What is truly remarkable is that an artist of her stature also gives back with such open arms. As part of her wide philanthropy, over $21 million was directed to causes she supports from her two most recent concert tours.”
“For me, being able to create is both a gift and a responsibility, and I have seen firsthand the power of philanthropy to make the world a safer, healthier and more peaceful place,” said Streisand. “It is an honor to be recognized as the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year. I have so much respect for the work they do to create a lifeline of resources, whether it’s emergency financial assistance or access to addiction recovery resources, or music people in times of need.”
The 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a star-studded tribute concert.
The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during Grammy Week. The celebration culminates with the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Streisand has attained 51 gold, 30 platinum and 18 multi-platinum albums, setting a record for female singers. This figure is verified by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Barbra Streisand’s career has been marked by bold creative achievements and highlighted by a series of firsts. An unparalleled talent, Streisand is the only artist ever to receive Oscar®, Tony®, Emmy®, GRAMMY, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe®, National Medal of Arts, and Peabody awards, as well as France’s Legion d’honneur and the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the first female film director to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
The RIAA also notes that her 71.5 million album sales top the RIAA list of album sales by a female singer. With the debut of Love Is The Answer at No. 1 in 2009, the time span between her first and most recent No. 1 albums is 46 years exceeding that of any other performer or act.
For her first motion picture, Funny Girl, she won the 1968 Academy Award® for best actress, the first of two Oscar nominations in that category. With her first motion picture as a producerr, Yentl (1983), a film about a Jewish girl wanting to study Torah and Talmud, also her first film as a director, she became the first woman ever to produce, direct, write, and star in a major motion picture. Yentl earned five Oscar nominations and Golden Globes for both Best Director/Motion Picture and Best Motion Picture/Comedy or Musical. The Prince Of Tides, her next directorial feature in which she also produced and starred, was the first motion picture directed by its female star ever to receive a Feature Film nomination from the DGA as well as seven Academy Award nominations. She won a DGA award (Best Director Music/Variety Television Program) in 1994 for her television special, “Barbra: The Concert,” which she co-directed with Dwight Hemion.
Her debut Broadway appearance in “I Can Get It For You Wholesale,” earned her the New York Drama Critics Award and received a Tony nomination. For her very first solo recording, The Barbra Streisand Album, she won two GRAMMY Awards in 1963 for Best Vocal Performance, Female and Album Of The Year; which made her the youngest artist to have received that award at the time. For “Evergreen,” the love theme from her 1976 hit film, A Star Is Born, she became the first female composer ever to win an Academy Award. She was nominated again in 1997 as co-composer of “I Finally Found Someone,” based on her 1996 film The Mirror Has Two Faces. The film achieved two Oscar nominations and the best supporting actress Golden Globe for Lauren Bacall. Streisand’s first television special, “My Name Is Barbra” (1965), received five Emmy Awards, including one for best performance, as well as her first of two Peabody Awards. This achievement was repeated 30 years later by “Barbra: The Concert,” which won two additional Emmy Awards for Streisand among the five for the production. That show was also accorded a Peabody Award, a DGA award and three CableACE awards, and it became the highest-rated musical event in HBO’s history. Her 2001 television concert special, “Timeless. Live in Concert,” also co-directed by its star, won four more Emmys, including one for Streisand’s performance.
DVD releases of her concerts have achieved notable recent firsts. In 2009 her three-disc offering, Streisand The Concerts, reigned in the No. 1 position on Billboard’s DVD charts for three weeks. A year later, One Night Only, capturing her heralded performance at the Village Vanguard in New York before an audience of 100 lottery-picked fans and some of her notable friends, opened at No. 1 as well.
Her civil rights activism and philanthropic pursuits are just as impressive. The Streisand Foundation has given millions of dollars through 2,100 grants to nonprofit organizations and she has raised many millions more through her performances. Streisand supports an impressive range of causes from AIDS organizations to nonprofits that work on issues of women’s equality, the protection of both human rights and civil rights, the needs of children at risk in society, the preservation of the environment, Jewish/Arab relations, and relations between African-Americans and Jews.
Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy, MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For more information, please visit www.musicares.com.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the Grammy Awards, the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music, The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, join the organization’s social networks on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube.
For information on purchasing tables and tickets to the event, please contact Dana Tomarken at MusiCares, 310.392.3777.