Barbra Streisand's status as one of the most successful singers of her generation was remarkable not only because her popularity was achieved in the face of a dominant musical trend -- rock & roll -- which she did not follow, but also because she used her vocal skills as a mere stepping stone to other careers, as a stage and film actress and as a film director. Born in 1942 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she struggled briefly as an actress and nightclub singer in New York during the early '60s before landing her first part in a Broadway show, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, in 1962. The cast album for that show, as well as a subsequent appearance on a studio revival of Pins and Needles, were her first recordings. Signed to Columbia Records, she released her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, in 1963. It became a Top Ten, gold-selling record, thus paving the way for Streisand's status as one of the best-selling recording artists of the early '60s.