If Barbra Streisand started today, would she still be regarded as great?

Both opera and musical theater stars could still become well-known outside of the Broadway stage and opera house when Barbara came along in the early 1960s. At that time, opera and musical theater were sufficiently well-liked by the general public for performers to launch successful careers in those genres.

The Beatles, Rolling Stones, James Brown, Janis Joplin, and other performers that would today be considered pop music were mostly only heard by teenagers and college students; adults didn’t really listen to those bands as much as they do now. The average middle class adult just didn’t spend much, if any, time listening to that music since it was sometimes deemed lowbrow, immature, crap music, too contentious, or, in the case of artists like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, too provocative to be mainstream.

Even if you didn’t spend a lot of time listening to or seeing operas or musical theater performances, you were likely familiar with musical theater and opera stars because they would sing on radio and TV shows that the great majority of people watched or listened to. A few of them even earned movie parts, which increased their notoriety even further.

 

There was a way for Barbara Streisand to become a well-known celebrity, and she followed it by making appearances on TV variety shows and in motion pictures. Because there was a market for musical theater songs and they were popular, she produced albums with tunes that people wanted to hear. People learned about her, even though they weren’t musical theater aficionados.

Right now, that road isn’t actually there. Because the opportunities that once supported them are no longer available, not many operatic or musical theater stars make the switch. The mainstream shows that used to showcase them are no longer in existence; variety shows, which were popular in the 1950s and 1960s, have faded away, and the shows that do feature musical performances don’t invite performers from the opera and musical theater industries as guests. Additionally, they are not cast in films as frequently as they formerly were.

I mentioned a handful of the outstanding voices and celebrities that are still in the musical theater and opera fields in the preceding paragraph. However, they truly can’t break through anymore until they switch to different genres and start over by singing songs they’re not all that comfortable or want to sing. They are presently restricted to their little area of the globe. That music isn’t as popular as it once was since the general public just doesn’t think of it as mainstream.

Furthermore, Barbara was not a woman of typical attractiveness. She was not what I would consider Hollywood pretty, but I don’t think she is or was an ugly woman at all. It would have been more difficult for her to succeed due to her appearance. Even though she was under pressure to change her nose at the time, she refused, and her talent more than made up for it. But what about now? In a world when pop fame is mostly determined by videos? She probably wouldn’t have been able to get past it because appearances matter more now than they did back then.

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