Will smash hit ‘Partners’ bring Barbra Streisand back to top Grammys race?

Barbra Streisand looks set to debut at the top of the Billboard album chart with her new disc “Partners.” This album of duets — which features pairings with a dozen fellows including Michael Buble, John Mayer and Elvis Presley — is set to sell at least 160,000 copies this week, easily outpacing Chris Brown‘s long delayed “X,” which is forecast to move about 120,000 units. 

Streisand has staged an all-out media blitz to promote this platter, including making her first late night talk show appearance in more than half a century with Monday’s well-reviewed appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” She proved to be a good sport, duetting with the host on three of the ditties from the disc (Watch the pair perform below). 

If she can hold off that challenge from Brown, Streisand will better her Billboard record of scoring at least one No. 1 album in each decade stretching back to the 1960s; she first topped the charts with “People” in 1964. And she will extend her lead as the female artist with the most No. 1 albums with an even 10 (Madonna has seven while Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Britney Spears each have six). By breaking into the double digits, she would be tied with Presley; the other men with more No. 1 albums are: The Beatles (19), Jay-Z (13) and Bruce Springsteen (11). 

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But can she parlay this sales success into another Grammy Award? This Oscar and Emmy winner already has eight competitive Grammys on her crowded mantle (along with two honorary ones). In the past half century, this versatile singer/songwriter has earned a total of 40 nominations across a dozen categories. And she could contend for the first time in the country genre for her collaboration with Blake Shelton on the “Partners” track “I’d Want it To Be You.” 

While Streisand usually produces her own albums, this time around she let Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds do the heavy lifting. And that could make all the difference to Grammy voters. After all, this well-respected multi-hyphenate has won 10 of his 36 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year for his work on “The Bodyguard” soundtrack back in 1994. 

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That top Grammy category has come to include albums representing many musical genres. Streisand won it for her self-titled debut disc way back in 1964. And she has contended for this coveted prize another five times: “People” (1965), “My Name Is Barbra” (1966), “Color Me Barbra” (1967), “Guilty” (1980) and “The Broadway Album” (1986).

“The Broadway Album,” which also reached No. 1, marked a much-heralded return to her rialto roots and won her a second Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy as a bookend to the one she picked up for “Evergreen” in 1977; that Oscar-winning tune also won her the Song of the Year award. Prior to that, Streisand had taken home Best Female Vocal Performance for three years in a row beginning in 1964, and she also won Best Pop Duo/Group with Barry Gibb for “Guilty” in 1980.

Do you think Streisand will reap an Album of the Year bid for “Partners”? Make your predictions below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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