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Hello, gorgeous: Barbra Streisand to sing on Oscars

By Paul Sheehan
Jan 30 2013 08:24 am
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Two-time Academy Award winner Barbra Streisand will croon a tune on the upcoming Oscars. This marks only the second time that the eight-time Grammy champ has performed at the Academy Awards. 

In making the announcement, Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said, “In an evening that celebrates the artistry of movies and music, how could the telecast be complete without Barbra Streisand? We are honored that she has agreed to do a very special performance on this year’s Oscars, her first time singing on the show in 36 years.”

Back in 1977, she sang the Oscar nominated "Evergreen" just before Neil Diamond, her Erasmus Hall high schoolmate and future duet partner ("You Don't Bring Me Flowers"), announced that she had become the first female composer to ever win Best Song. She shared the award with lyricist Paul Williams. (See video below, beginning at 1:30, after 1978 Grammy win.)

In 1968, Streisand prevailed with her first Best Actress bid for recreating her stage role as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl." She tied with Katharine Hepburn who won the third of her eventual four Oscars for "The Lion in Winter." (See video below, with stunned Ingrid Bergman announcing winners.)

Streisand also contended for Best Actress in 1973 for "The Way We Were," losing to Glenda Jackson who picked up her second Oscar for the romantic comedy "A Touch of Class." Streisand had sung the title tune to the tearjerker but declined a chance to perform it on the Oscarcast, citing her nerves as a nominee. Peggy Lee performed the tune, which won composer Marvin Hamlisch one of his three Oscars that night. 

Back in 1968, the title track for "Funny Girl" had also contended for Best Song. Aretha Franklin was tapped to sing this melancholy tune, which lost to "The Windmills of Your Mind" from "The Thomas Crown Affair." That track was composed by Michel Legrand with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The Bergmans also penned the lyrics to "The Way We Were" and this trio went on to write the songs for Streisand's 1983 debut as a director, "Yentl."

That score produced two Best Song nominees but Streisand, who was snubbed for Best Director after becoming the first woman to win the Golden Globe for helming, declined to even attend the Oscars. Streisand's friend and 1979 duet partner Donna Summers ("Enough is Enough") sang "Papa, Can You Hear Me" while 1982 Tony champ Jennifer Holliday ("Dreamgirls") performed "The Way He Makes Me Feel." Both tunes lost to the title track from "Flashdance." 

Streisand and Hamlisch were nominated together, along with her singing partner Bryan Adams and his collaborator Robert Lange, for "I Finally Found Someone" from her 1996 romantic comedy "The Mirror Has Two Faces." Again, Streisand demurred performing. However, after Natalie Cole took ill, there was some talk that Streisand would pitch in and sing. But in the end Celine Dion, who was already slated to sing "Because You Loved Me" from "Up Close and Personal," did the ditty, reading the lyrics off the sheet music. "You Must Love Me" from "Evita" won the Oscar. 

Streisand, who was also snubbed for helming 1991 Best Picture nominee "The Prince of Tides," last appeared on the Oscars in 2009, when she presented Best Director to Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") who made history as the first woman to win this award.

 
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