After years of pursuits, serious offers and talks which warmed up in the past two years, it’s finally happening: The Yedioth Ahronoth daily has learned that Barbra Streisand will give one concert in Israel this summer in honor of President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday.
Barring any last-minute changes, the legendary Jewish American singer will perform at a venue which has yet to be determined on June 15 or 16. She will also participate in the opening night of the Israeli Presidential Conference on June 18 at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.
Sources in the music industry have confirmed the report.
As first reported by Yedioth Ahronoth, in the past two years Streisand received offers from at least five different Israeli producers, but the talks failed as she had no concert tours in Europe. The president’s birthday was what finally convinced her to come.
Streisand, who will celebrate her 71st birthday in April, is considered one of the most successful singers in history. She launched her career in the 1960s, releasing her first album in 1963. She is considered by music critics as one of the greatest vocalists of all times thanks to her remarkable vocal prowess, endless charisma and the wonderful way she presents a song.
Throughout her career, Streisand released 36 albums which sold tens of millions of copies, and won dozens of prestigious awards, including 15 Grammys. She also starred in many films, produced and directed some, and won two Academy Awards.
Streisand is one of the few artists in the world to have won all major awards the American entertainment industry has to offer: Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe.
In spite of her huge success throughout the years, and perhaps because of it, Streisand doesn’t like performing in front of an audience. So far, in her 50-year career, she has gone on only five world tours. In October 2012 she launched her last world tour, which attracted 154,000 fans and generated $40 million in income within two months.
Streisand visited Israel in the past, but never performed in the Holy Land. Assuming the concert is held in a suitable venue, she is expected to attract an audience of some 50,000 people.
Streisand has been very active in raising funds for the State of Israel and IDF soldiers, despite her occasional criticism of the Israeli government’s policy. One of her most memorable performances was when she sang Israel’s national Anthem, “Hatikva,” at the conclusion of the 1978 Stars Salute Israel show.
She is known as a public and political activist and a longtime supporter of the American Democratic Party. She established the Streisand Foundation, which is committed to gaining women’s equality, the protection of both human rights and civil rights, the needs of children at risk in society, women’s health and the preservation of the environment.
The Presidential Conference organizers said Sunday that Streisand had been invited to the conference’s opening night and that they would be delighted if she were to accept.