Barbara McNair was an American singer and actress.
Born Barbara Jean McNair in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Racine, Wisconsin, McNair studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's TV show Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove.
She soon became one of the country's most popular headliners and a guest on such television variety shows as The Steve Allen Show, Hullabaloo, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Hollywood Palace, while recording for the Coral, Signature, Motown, and TEC Recording Studios labels. Among her hits were "You're Gonna Love My Baby" and "Bobby". In the early 1960s, McNair made several musical shorts for Scopitone, a franchise of coin-operated machines that showed what were the forerunners of today's music videos.
In 1967 McNair traveled with Bob Hope to Southeast Asia to perform for U.S. troops during the Vietnam War along with Raquel Welch, Elaine Dunn, Phil Crosby and 1967 Miss World Madeleine Hartog Bell. She said on stage that Hope talked her into going on the tour by promising her she'd get to meet royalty. "He let me walk his dog Prince," she joked. Among the songs she sang was an slowed-down, emotional version of "For Once in My Life."