By Grady Smith
Updated August 31, 2011 at 10:45 PM EDT
Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/

When Barbra Streisand’s 48th album (not including the 12 soundtracks she has sung on), What Matters Most: Barbra Sings The Lyrics Of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, debuted in 4th place on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with sales of 68,000 copies, she became the first solo artist to earn a top five debut in six different decades.

Streisand first entered the Billboard chart in 1963, with The Barbra Streisand Album, which debuted at number eight, but it wasn’t until The Second Barbra Streisand Album‘s number-two bow later that year that she first cracked the top five. Since then, the Broadway belter has notched an additional 17 top five debuts, and impressively, she’s scored 31 top ten debuts overall. (For perspective, Frank Sinatra has 40 top ten albums, the Rolling Stones have 36, and The Beatles have 30.)

Unfortunately, Streisand couldn’t surpass Game, Jay-Z and Kanye West, or Adele to add another number-one album to her collection. Since, according to chart expert Paul Grein, “Streisand is the only solo artist who has had a #1 album in each of the last five decades, from the 1960s to the 2000s,” if she can pull out another chart topper during the 2010s, she will extend her record to six decades.

But I shouldn’t be raining on her parade! The reality is that Streisand’s chart power has endured for a whopping 48 years, an incredible feat in any industry, much less the here-today-gone-tomorrow music scene.

Few artists can claim that kind of longevity, and it is to Streisand’s credit that she has remained a notable and lucrative commodity. I guess it helps having talent!

Are you a loyal Streisand consumer? Did you pick up her latest album?