Streisand's Mom Opposed Her Trying Show Biz!

Singer Barbra Streisand arrives at the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year Gala honoring Barbara Streisand at the Los Angeles Convention Center, February 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES AP

Grammys weekend kicked off in Los Angeles Friday night with a tribute to a true Grammy legend - Barbra Streisand.

She was honored as the MusiCares Person-of-the-Year for her artistry and philanthropy in a ceremony that brought out a crowd of famous faces.

Beforehand, Streisand sat down with "Entertainment Tonight" anchor Nancy O'Dell for a rare interview, to talk about her life's work - a career that's brought her 51 gold albums, 30 platinum albums, two Oscars, four Emmys - and eight Grammys.

She's up for her ninth Grammy Sunday, for her album "Love Is the Answer," and is scheduled to perform.

Her last Grammy was 24 years ago, in 1987.

Special Section: The Grammys

Streisand told O'Dell she has no memory at all of her first two Grammys, which she got in 1963, except, "I remember the dress that I wore, a dress from thrift store with a little antique pin"

She does remember her last Grammy win. "I said, jokingly, really, 'With a bit of luck and your continued support, I might see you again in 24 years!'"

"So it's looking good for you this year!" O'Dell observed.

"Something's good about that, yeah!" Streisand agreed.

But Streisand might never have gone into show business if her mother had had her way.

O'Dell noted that Streisand's next role may be starring in a remake of the movie "Gypsy," as Mama Rose who, Streisand says, "reminds me a lot of my mother," though, "She did everything against me being in show business.

"As a matter of fact, that's when I grew my nails long, because she wanted me to be a typist. Now I wish I could type, now that I'm on the computer and writing. I wish I could type, believe me!"

Streisand performed at the MusiCares ceremony, and it brought some of music's biggest names to their feet. But she concedes, "Performing is very tough. I love recording, because it's just me and the music, me and the orchestra, me and the musicians."

A star-studded list of performers paid tribute to Streisand including Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder and country great Faith Hill.

One of the highlights of the evening was former President Clinton's taped message praising Streisand, saying, "Through her giving, she has improved countless lives around the world."

A longtime fundraiser for the Democratic party, she says she's still passionate about politics.

President Obama hasn't contacted her yet about helping in his re-election campaign, Streisand says, but she earned $11 million by performing at an Obama fundraiser during the 2008 run to the White House.

Her Streisand Foundation raises money for research on - and awareness of - health issues, specifically how heart disease affects women.

"More women die of heart disease now than men," she said. "Women who are heads of companies and who work for a living have the same amount of stress, but have to raise families and children. It catches up with them."
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