Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

Manilow performing live in 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Background information
Birth name Barry Alan Pincus
Born (1943-06-17) June 17, 1943
Brooklyn, New York, US
Genres Pop, soft rock,[1][2] easy listening
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards
Years active 1964–present

Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus; June 17, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician, and producer with a career that has spanned over 50 years. He is best known for a long string of hit recordings such as "Mandy", "Can't Smile Without You", and "Copacabana (At the Copa)".

In 1978, five of his albums were on the best-seller charts simultaneously, a feat equaled only by Herb Alpert, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, and Johnny Mathis. He has recorded and released 47 Top 40 singles, including 12 that hit number one and 27 of which appeared within the top ten, and has released many multi-platinum albums. He is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records) and Billboard Magazines, and Rolling Stone crowned him "a giant among entertainers… the showman of our generation."[3] Although not a favorite of music critics,[4] Manilow has been praised by several well-known entertainers, including Sinatra, who was quoted in the 1970s saying, "He's next." In 1988, Bob Dylan stopped Manilow at a party, hugged him and said, "Don't stop what you're doing, man. We're all inspired by you."[5]

As well as producing and arranging albums for other artists, including Bette Midler and Dionne Warwick, Manilow has written songs for musicals, films, and commercials. From February 2005 to December 30, 2009, he was the headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton, performing hundreds of shows before ending his relationship with the hotel. Since March 2010, he has headlined at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.[6]

Early life

Manilow was born on June 17, 1943, as Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, New York,[7] the son of Edna Manilow and Harold Pincus (who went by his own stepfather's surname, "Keliher").[5][8] His father was born to a Jewish father and an Irish-American Catholic mother, while his maternal grandparents were of Russian Jewish background.[9] Barry adopted his mother's maiden name, Manilow, at the time of his bar mitzvah.

Manilow grew up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and attended Eastern District High School, graduating in 1961. That same year, he enrolled in the City College of New York where he briefly studied before entering the New York College of Music.[10] He also worked at CBS while he was a student in order to pay his expenses. According to one source, he married Susan Deixler that year, with the marriage lasting only one year.[11] Another source says Manilow got an annulment from Deixler in 1966 after two years of marriage.[12] He later studied Musical Theater at the Juilliard performing arts school.[10]


Beginnings – 1960s

In 1964, Manilow met Bro Herrod, a CBS director, who asked him to arrange some songs for a musical adaptation of the melodrama The Drunkard. Instead, Manilow wrote an entire original score.[13] Herrod used Manilow's composition in the Off Broadway musical, which enjoyed an eight-year run at New York's 13th Street Theatre.[14] Manilow then earned money by working as a pianist, producer and arranger.

During this time, he began to work as a commercial jingle writer,[15] continuing well into the 1970s. Many of the jingles he wrote and/or composed he would also perform, including State Farm Insurance ("Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."), and Band-Aid ("I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!"), for which he adopted a childlike voice and wrote the music (Donald B Wood wrote the lyrics). A 1965 Polaroid Swinger commercial featuring Manilow's "Meet The Swinger" jingle starred a young Ali MacGraw. His singing-only credits include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, and the famed McDonald's "You Deserve a Break Today" campaign.[16] Manilow won two Clio Awards in 1976 for his work for Tab and Band-Aid.[17]

By 1967, Manilow was the musical director for the WCBS-TV series Callback, which premiered on January 27, 1968. He next conducted and arranged for Ed Sullivan's production company, arranging a new theme for The Late Show, while writing, producing, and singing his radio and television jingles. At the same time, he and Jeanne Lucas performed as a duo for a two-season run at Julius Monk's Upstairs at the Downstairs club in New York.[18]


Before Manilow's well-known association with Bette Midler began at the Continental Baths in New York City in 1971,[19] he recorded four tracks as Featherbed, leading a group of session musicians produced and arranged by Tony Orlando. Three of the tracks—"Morning", a ballad; "Amy", a psychedelic-influenced pop song; and an early version of his own composition "Could It Be Magic"—all flopped on the charts, a fact for which Manilow himself is fond of saying he is eternally grateful, especially in the case of the latter. That was because the arrangement of "Could It Be Magic" was an uptempo pop tune. Manilow had arranged the tune as a classical piece that slowly built. The fourth tune recorded was "Rosalie Rosie", which was to be the flip of "Could It Be Magic", but Bell Records went with "Morning" as the flip for Featherbed's second release instead.

As Manilow accompanied artists on the piano for auditions and performances in the first two years of the 1970s, Midler caught his act in 1971 and chose the young arranger to assist her with the production of both her debut and sophomore releases The Divine Miss M (1972) and Bette Midler (1973), as well as act as her musical director on the eventual tour mounted for the former.[20] Manilow worked with Midler from 1971 to 1975.

After the Featherbed singles went nowhere, in July 1973, Bell Records released his debut album, Barry Manilow, which offered an eclectic mix of piano-driven pop and guitar-driven rock music, including a song called "I Am Your Child", which Manilow had composed for the 1972 Vietnam War drama Parades, written by Manilow with Marty Panzer.

Among other songs on the album were Jon Hendricks' vocalese jazz standard "Cloudburst", most successfully recorded by his group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross in 1959 and "Could It Be Magic". The latter's music was based on Chopin's "Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20", and provided Donna Summer with one of her first hits. (It was also covered by Take That in the 1990s, as an up-beat disco version of the song. Take That have since performed Manilow's original version in their Beautiful World Tour.)

When Bell Records was taken over by Clive Davis, the former head of Columbia Records, he created Arista Records out of all the labels under the Columbia Pictures banner including Colgems, Colpix and Bell. Under the auspices of its head, many artists were dropped; however Davis was reassured by the Manilow acquisition after seeing him perform as the opening act at a Dionne Warwick concert, the Schaefer Music Festival in Central Park, New York, on June 26, 1974.

The partnership began to gain traction in 1974, with the release of his second album, Barry Manilow II, on Bell Records and reissued on Arista, which contained the breakthrough number-one hit, "Mandy". Manilow had not wanted to record the song, which had originally been titled "Brandy", originally recorded by its co-writer Scott English, but the song was included at the insistence of his new label chief. The name was changed to "Mandy" during the actual recording session on August 20, 1974, due to the fact that there had already been a song called "Brandy" performed by Looking Glass and released in 1972 on Clive Davis' Epic label.

"Mandy" was the start of a string of hit singles and albums that lasted through the rest of the 1970s to the early 1980s, coming from the multi-platinum and multi-hit albums Tryin' to Get the Feeling, This One's for You, Even Now, and One Voice. Following the success of Barry Manilow II, the first Bell Records album release was re-mixed and re-issued on Arista Records as Barry Manilow I. When Manilow went on his first tour, he included in his show what he called "A V.S.M.", or "A Very Strange Medley", a sampling of some of the commercial jingles that he had written, composed, and/or sung.

Beginning with Manilow's March 22, 1975, appearance on American Bandstand to promote the second album, a productive friendship with Dick Clark started.[21] Numerous appearances by Manilow on Clark's productions of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, singing his original seasonal favorite "It's Just Another New Year's Eve", American Bandstand anniversary shows, American Music Awards performances, and his 1985 television movie Copacabana are among their projects together.

Despite being a songwriter in his own right, several of Manilow's commercial successes were songs written by others. In addition to "Mandy", other hits he did not write or compose include "Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again" (by David Pomeranz), "Weekend in New England" (by Randy Edelman), "Ships" (by Ian Hunter), "Looks Like We Made It" (by Richard Kerr and Will Jennings), "Can't Smile Without You" and "Ready to Take a Chance Again" (by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel). His #1 hit "I Write the Songs" was composed by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys. According to album liner notes, Manilow did, however, perform co-production as well as arrangement duties on all the above tracks along with Ron Dante, most famous for his vocals on records by The Archies.

Manilow's breakthrough in Britain came with the release of Even Now, the first of many top-20 albums on that side of the Atlantic. This was quickly followed by Manilow Magic – The Best Of Barry Manilow, also known as Greatest Hits. On its initial release, it was marketed with a large television campaign by the mail order label "Teledisc". In the late 1970s and early 1980s, ABC aired four variety television specials starring Manilow, who served as an executive producer. The Barry Manilow Special with Penny Marshall as his guest premiered on March 2, 1977, to an audience of 37 million. The breakthrough special was nominated for four Emmys and won in the category of "Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Special".[22] The Second Barry Manilow Special in 1978, with Ray Charles as his guest, was also nominated for four Emmys.[22]

Manilow in 1979

Manilow's "Ready to Take a Chance Again" originated in the film Foul Play, which also featured "Copacabana", from his fourth studio album Even Now.[23] "Ready to Take a Chance Again" was nominated that year for the "Best Original Song" Oscar.[24] Copacabana would later take the form of a musical television movie, starring Manilow, and three musical plays. On February 11, 1979, a concert from Manilow's sold-out dates at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles aired on HBO series Standing Room Only, which was the first pay-television show to pose a serious challenge to network primetime specials in the ratings.[25] From the same tour in 1978, a one-hour special from Manilow's sold-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall aired in the UK.

On May 23, 1979, ABC aired The Third Barry Manilow Special, with John Denver as his guest. This special was nominated for two Emmy awards and won for "Outstanding Achievement in Choreography".[22] Also in 1979, Manilow produced Dionne Warwick's "comeback" album Dionne, her first to go platinum. He scored a top ten hit of his own in the fall of 1979 with the song "Ships" (written and composed by Ian Hunter, former lead singer of Mott the Hoople) from the album "One Voice".


The 1980s gave Manilow the adult contemporary chart-topping songs "The Old Songs", "Somewhere Down the Road", "Read 'Em and Weep" (written by Jim Steinman), and a remake of the 1941 Jule Styne and Frank Loesser standard "I Don't Want to Walk Without You". Manilow continued having high radio airplay throughout the decade. In the UK, Manilow had five sold-out performances at Royal Albert Hall. In the United States, at Radio City Music Hall (1984) his 10-night run set a box-office sales record of nearly $2 million, making him the top draw in the then 52-year history of the venue.[26] In 1980, Manilow's One Voice special, with Dionne Warwick as his guest, was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction".[22]

Also in 1980, a concert from Manilow's sold-out shows at England's Wembley Arena was broadcast while he was on a world tour. Manilow released the self-titled Barry (1980), which was his first album to not reach the top ten in the United States, stopping at #15. The album contained "I Made It Through the Rain" (originally a minor hit for its writer, Gerard Kenny) and "Bermuda Triangle". The album If I Should Love Again followed in 1981, containing "The Old Songs", "Let's Hang On" (a 1965 hit for the Four Seasons), and "Somewhere Down The Road". This was the first of his own albums that Manilow produced without Ron Dante, who had co-produced all the previous albums. Manilow's sold-out concert at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh aired nationally on Showtime, and locally on Philadelphia's now-defunct PRISM. In 1982, a concert from his sold out Royal Albert Hall show was broadcast in England. The live album and video Barry Live in Britain also came from his Royal Albert Hall shows.

On August 27, 1983, Manilow performed a landmark open-air concert at Blenheim Palace in Britain, an event that he told the audience was "one of the most exciting nights" in his life.[27] It was the first such event ever held at that venue and was attended by a conservative estimate of 40,000 people. This concert was also taped for airing on Showtime. In December 1983, Manilow was reported to have endowed the music departments at six major universities in the United States and Canada.[28] The endowments were part of a continuing endeavor by Manilow to recognize and encourage new musical talent.[29]

In 1984 Manilow released 2:00 AM Paradise Café, a jazz/blues collection of original barroom tunes recorded in one live take in the studio. That same year, Showtime aired a documentary of Manilow recording the album with a number of jazz legends including Sarah Vaughan and Mel Tormé. In 1984 and 1985, England aired two one-hour concert specials from his National Exhibition Centre (NEC) concerts. In 1985 Manilow left Arista Records for RCA Records, where he released the pop album Manilow, and began a phase of international music, as he performed songs and duets in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. The Manilow album was a complete about-face from the Paradise Cafe album, containing a number of tracks of a modern uptempo and synthesized quality. In 1985 Japan aired a Manilow concert special where he played "Sakura" on the koto.

In his only lead acting role, he portrayed Tony Starr in a 1985 CBS film based on Copacabana, alongside Annette O'Toole as Lola Lamarr and Joseph Bologna as Rico. Manilow penned all the songs for the movie, with lyrics provided by established collaborators Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, and released Copacabana: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album on RCA Records. In October 1986, Manilow, along with Bruce Sussman, Tom Scott, and Charlie Fox, went to Washington, D.C. for two days of meetings with legislators, including lunch with then Senator Al Gore (D-TN).[30] They were there to lobby against a copyright bill put forward by local television broadcasters that would mandate songwriter-producer source licensing of theme and incidental music on syndicated television show reruns and would disallow use of the blanket license then in effect. The songwriters said without the blanket license, artists would have to negotiate up front with producers individually, without knowing if a series would be a success. The license now pays according to a per-use formula. Manilow said that such a bill would act as a precedent for broadcasters to get rid of the blanket license entirely.[31]

The following year, McGraw-Hill published Manilow's autobiography, Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise, which had taken him about three years to complete. While promoting the work, Manilow defended his music in a telephone interview: "I live in laid-back L.A., but in my heart, I'm an energetic New Yorker and that's what has always come out of my music. I've always been surprised when the critics said I made wimpy little ballads".[32] Manilow returned to Arista Records in 1987 with the release of Swing Street. The album, a mixture of traditional after-dark and techno jazz, contained "Brooklyn Blues", an autobiographical song for Manilow, and "Hey Mambo", an uptempo Latin style duet with Kid Creole, produced with the help of Emilio Estefan, Jr., founder of Miami Sound Machine.

CBS aired Manilow's Big Fun on Swing Street special in March 1988. It featured songs and special guests from his Swing Street and 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe albums, including Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Phyllis Hyman, Stanley Clarke, Carmen McRae, Tom Scott, and Uncle Festive, a band within Manilow's band at the time. The special was nominated for two Emmys in technical categories, and won in the category of "Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music program".[22]

In 1988 Manilow performed "Please Don't Be Scared" and "Mandy/Could It Be Magic" at That's What Friends Are For: AIDS Concert '88, a benefit concert for the Warwick Foundation headed by Dionne Warwick and shown on Showtime a few years later. In the 1988 Walt Disney Pictures animated feature Oliver & Company, Bette Midler's character sang a new Manilow composition called "Perfect Isn't Easy". The 1989 release of Barry Manilow, which contained "Please Don't Be Scared", "Keep Each Other Warm", and "The One That Got Away", ended Manilow's streak of albums of original self-written material (he only wrote or arranged two of the album's songs) and began a phase of his recording career consisting of covers and compilations.[33]

From April 18 to June 10, 1989, Manilow put on a show called Barry Manilow at the Gershwin, making 44 appearances[34] at the Gershwin Theatre (also known as the Uris Theatre), where he had also recorded Barry Manilow Live in 1976. A best-selling 90-minute video of the same show was released the following year as Barry Manilow Live On Broadway. The Showtime one-hour special Barry Manilow SRO on Broadway consisted of edited highlights from this video. Manilow followed this set of shows with a world tour of the Broadway show.


Manilow released a number of cover tunes during the 1990s, starting with the 1989 release Barry Manilow, and continuing with his 1990 Christmas LP Because It's Christmas. On the Christmas album, Manilow was joined by pop girl trio Exposé and together they recreated, note for note, a 1943 million-selling recording of "Jingle Bells" by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters. Manilow has credited Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne Andrews as inspiring him, perhaps most evident in his recording of "Jump, Shout Boogie".[35] Consequent "event" albums followed, including: Showstoppers, a collection of Broadway songs (1991), Singin' with the Big Bands (1994) and a late 1970s collection Summer of '78 (1996), which included the hit "I Go Crazy", formerly a hit for Paul Davis in 1978. The decade ended with Manilow recording a tribute to Frank Sinatra Manilow Sings Sinatra (1998) released months after Sinatra's death.

In 1990, Japan aired National Eolia Special: Barry Manilow On Broadway where he sang the title song "Eolia", which was used as a song there in a commercial for an air conditioner company of the same name, as well as other songs from his 1989–1990 Live on Broadway tour. In the early 1990s, Manilow signed on with Don Bluth to compose the songs with lyricists Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman for three animated films. He co-wrote the Broadway-style musical scores for Thumbelina (1994) and The Pebble and the Penguin (1995). The third film, entitled Rapunzel, was shelved after the poor performance of The Pebble and the Penguin. Manilow was also to be cast as the voice of a cricket. Manilow also composed the score and wrote two songs with Bruce Sussman for Disney Sing Along Songs: Let's Go To The Circus.

Manilow produced the 1991 album With My Lover Beside Me by legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson. The record is made up of lyrics left behind by famed composer Johnny Mercer that had never been set to music before the composer's death. Manilow was invited in 1993 by Mercer's widow to set the lyrics to music. His own recording of "When October Goes", with lyrics by Mercer, was released as a single in 1984, from his album 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe. Further Mercer compositions were set to music by Manilow over the following years, culminating in the 1991 Nancy Wilson release. Manilow is featured in a duet on the record in the final cut "Epilogue".

On February 19, 1992, Manilow testified before the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Judicial Administration House Committee in support of H.R. 3204, The Audio Home Recording Act of 1991.[36] The bill was signed into law on October 28, 1992, by President George H. W. Bush. The Act, a historic compromise between the consumer electronics and music industries, became effective immediately. In 1993, PBS aired, as a fundraiser, Barry Manilow: The Best of Me, which was taped at Wembley Arena in England earlier that same year. The BBC also played a one-hour version of the same show including "The Best of Me", sung during the concert, as a bonus song or "lucky strike extra" as Manilow says, not seen in The Greatest Hits...and then some, the video release of the show; however, the song was included on the DVD of the same title, with Manilow seated in front of a black curtain, lip-syncing to the recording. He performed 14 concerts as part of an extended tour covering Germany, Austria and Denmark. Manilow branched out in another direction and, with long-time lyricist Bruce Sussman, launched Copacabana, a musical play based on previous Manilow-related adaptations. They wrote new songs and it ran for two years on the London West End, and a tour company formed.[37]

In December 1996, A&E aired Barry Manilow: Live By Request, the first of his two Live By Request appearances. The broadcast was A&E's most successful music program, attracting an estimated 2.4 million viewers. The show was also simulcast on the radio. In March 1997, VH-1 aired Barry Manilow: The Summer of '78, a one-hour special of Manilow solo at the piano being interviewed and playing his greatest hits as well as songs from Summer of '78, his latest release at the time. In another collaboration between Manilow and Sussman, they co-wrote the musical Harmony, which previewed October 7 to November 23, 1997, at the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California.[38] Later in 2003, Harmony was originally scheduled for a tryout run in Philadelphia before going to Broadway, but was canceled after financial difficulties. After a legal battle with Mark Schwartz, the show's producer, Manilow and Sussman in 2005 won back the rights to the musical.[39]

On October 23, 1999, NBC aired the two-hour special StarSkates Salute to Barry Manilow taped at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring numerous figure skaters performing to Manilow's music. Manilow also performed.


In the year 2000, Manilow had two specials, Manilow Country and Manilow Live!, taped over two consecutive days at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, Tennessee. On April 11, 2000, The Nashville Network (TNN) aired the two-hour Manilow Country, which featured country stars Trisha Yearwood, Neal McCoy, Deana Carter, Jo Dee Messina, Lorrie Morgan, Kevin Sharp, Lila McCann, Gillian Welch and Jaci Velasquez singing their favorite Manilow hits with a "country" twist; Manilow also performed. This "special" was TNN's first High Definition (HD) broadcast and became one of TNN's highest rated concert specials.

In June 2000, DirectTV aired the two-hour concert special Manilow Live! where Manilow had his band, a 30-piece orchestra, and a choir. This HDTV special documented the concert tour at the time with the greatest hits of his career and was also released to video. Also that year, he worked with Monica Mancini on her Concord album The Dreams of Johnny Mercer, which included seven songs of Mercer's lyrics set to Manilow's music. Meanwhile, Manilow's record contract with Arista Records was not renewed due to new management. He then got a contract at Concord Records, a jazz-oriented label in California, and started work on the long-anticipated concept album Here at the Mayflower. The album was another eclectic mix of styles, almost entirely composed and produced by Manilow himself.

Barry Manilow live in 2008 during a 1960s sketch

While Manilow was at Concord Records, the Barry Manilow Scholarship was awarded for four consecutive years (2002–2005) to the six highest-achieving students to reward excellence in the art and craft of lyric writing. The UCLA Extension course "Writing Lyrics That Succeed and Endure" was taught by long-time Manilow collaborator Marty Panzer, and each student received three additional "master class" advanced sessions as well as a three-hour private, one-on-one session with Panzer. Scholarship recipients were selected by the instructor based on progress made within the course, lyric writing ability, and the instructor's assessment of real potential in the field of songwriting.[40] In February 2002, Manilow returned to the charts when Arista released a greatest hits album, Ultimate Manilow. On May 18, 2002, Manilow returned to CBS with Ultimate Manilow, his first special at the network since his Big Fun on Swing Street special in 1988. The special was filmed in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, and was nominated for an Emmy in the category of "Outstanding Music Direction".[22]

Produced by Manilow, Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook was first released on September 30, 2003. It was the first time that Midler had worked with Barry in more than twenty years. The album went gold, and they worked together again on a 2005 follow-up album entitled Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook. On December 3, 2003, A&E aired A Barry Manilow Christmas: Live by Request, his second of two concerts for the series. The two-hour special had Manilow taking requests for Christmas songs performed live with a band and an orchestra. Manilow told the audience that he was what Clay Aiken was going to look like in thirty years, thus acknowledging an ongoing comparison between the two. Also on the special were guests Cyndi Lauper, José Feliciano, and Bette Midler (Midler, busy preparing her own tour in Los Angeles, appeared only in a pre-taped segment).

2004 brought the release of two albums, a live album, 2 Nights Live! (BMG Strategic Marketing Group, 2004); and Scores: Songs from Copacabana & Harmony, an album of Manilow singing songs from his musicals. Scores was the last of Manilow's creative projects with the Concord label.

Barry Manilow at the piano, live in 2008

During his third appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on September 15, 2004, Winfrey announced that Manilow is one of the most requested guests of all time on her show. On the show, he promoted his One Night Live! One Last Time! tour. It was around this time period where Manilow appeared for the first time on the mainstream FOX program American Idol in which his back-up singer, Debra Byrd, doubles as voice coach on the series. Manilow also appeared on Clay Aiken's TV special, A Clay Aiken Christmas.

Las Vegas Hilton executives in a press conference with Manilow on December 14, 2004, announced his signing to a long-term engagement as the house show.[41] In March 2006, Manilow's engagement was extended through 2008.[42]

Manilow returned to Arista Records under Davis for a new covers album, released January 31, 2006, called The Greatest Songs of the Fifties. Manilow said he was blown away with the idea, which Davis presented when he visited Manilow's Las Vegas show. "When he suggested this idea to me, I slapped my forehead and said, 'Why hasn't anyone thought of this idea?'" Manilow said.[43] It was an unexpected success, debuting at number one in the Billboard 200, marking the first time a Manilow album debuted at the top of the album chart as well as the first time a Manilow album has reached number one in 29 years. It was eventually certified Platinum in the U.S., and sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

In March 2006, PBS aired Barry Manilow: Music and Passion, a Hilton concert recorded exclusively for the network's fundraising drive. Manilow was nominated for two Emmys, winning for "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program". A sequel album to his best-selling fifties tribute album, The Greatest Songs of the Sixties was released on October 31, 2006, including songs such as "And I Love Her" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". It nearly repeated the success of its predecessor, debuting at #2 in the Billboard 200.

Manilow live in 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center

In January 2007, Manilow returned to his hometown of New York City for three shows at Madison Square Garden. One highlight was the showing onscreen of Manilow performing in one of his first television appearances while the "live" Manilow played along onstage.

The same year saw him playing several shows on the east coast of the United States in August. Four more took place in December, half in the NY tri-state area in Uniondale and East Rutherford, and two in Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit. Manilow launched another short tour in early 2008, visiting several large venues including the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. A further album in the decades themed series went on release September 18, 2007. Barry Manilow: Songs from the Seventies, a PBS concert special based on the work, was taped in Manilow's home town, Brooklyn, October 2007. The show aired on PBS in December 2007 and was rebroadcast over New Year 2009. He appeared on American Idol on February 3, 2009 during Hollywood Week to give advice to the contestants.

In October 2009, Manilow TV, a monthly video subscription service, launched. Once a month, Barry Manilow picks a different concert from his personal archive to show to subscribers. The first month, Episode #1, showed performances on April 20–21, 1996, at Wembley Arena in London.

Manilow ended his residency at the Hilton "Ultimate Manilow The Hits" on December 30, 2009, and opened his new show "Manilow Paris Las Vegas" at the Paris Hotel & Casino at Las Vegas in March 2010.[44]


On January 26, 2010, Manilow released his new album The Greatest Love Songs of all Time. In December 2010 it was nominated for a Grammy award in the category Best Traditional Pop Album. On December 11, 2010, Manilow performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. Manilow completed work on his new album, 15 Minutes, in March 2011, with his official Facebook page announcing that he had completed putting "finishing touches" to the album on March 16, 2011.

On March 13, 2011, Manilow appeared at the Olivier Awards 2011 at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, singing "Copacabana" with the BBC Concert Orchestra and also singing with hit West End star, Kerry Ellis.

From March 2011, he hosted They Write the Songs, a 10-part documentary series for BBC Radio 2 in which he looked at the life and work of popular composers.[45]

In May 2011, Manilow recorded his concerts at the O2 Arena in London, for CD and DVD release in early 2012.

In a June 2011 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Manilow said that his new album is influenced by Britney Spears; the album is about the pleasures and pitfalls of fame. It was influenced directly by Spears' personal struggles in late 2007.[46] The album 15 Minutes debuted at number 7 on the U.S Billboard 200 Album Chart. The first single from 15 Minutes, "Bring on Tomorrow", entered the U.S Billboard Hot 200 Singles Chart's top 40, becoming Manilow's 47th top 40 hit. The album was nominated for a Grammy award in the category Best Traditional Pop Album.

In November 2011, Manilow recorded his shows at the Paris Las Vegas for an upcoming TV special and DVD release.

Manilow concluded his two-year residency at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas on December 11. This also ended his seven-year stay in Las Vegas.

In January 2013, Manilow returned to Broadway with his concert series "Manilow on Broadway." It was his first appearance on Broadway in more than two decades.[47]

On July 4, 2013, Manilow performed live on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol as part of A Capitol Fourth. This was his second appearance on the popular PBS program.[48]

On September 6, 2013, the musical Harmony started a second run. This time at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. The musical is also booked for performances in Los Angeles in 2014.

On November 12, 2013, he performed at the BBC's Children in Need Rocks 2013.

On March 11, 2014, Manilow released Night Songs, an album of standards performed only with piano and synthesized acoustic bass by Manilow himself.

On October 28, 2015, Manilow released My Dream Duets, which won him a Best Album Grammy nomination. This was the fifteenth of his career with at nominations occurring in every decade since the 1970s.[49]

On February 17, 2015, Manilow began his farewell tour at the CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska with stops at most major North American venues. Other destinations included Chicago at the United Center, Los Angeles at the Staples Center, and Brooklyn at the Barclay's Center for the tour finale on June 17, where Manilow will celebrate his 72nd birthday during his Barclays Center debut.[50]


On May 13, 1989, Manilow was rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital during intermission at Broadway's Gershwin Theater, cancelling the second half of his show. His agent Susan Dubow said he was "feeling fine" after being forced from the Broadway stage because of an adverse reaction to medication prescribed for a stomach ailment. Dubow also added that Manilow was ready to return to the stage to complete the run of his concert show, which was then extended one week to June 3.[51]

On June 26, 1997, Manilow was diagnosed with bronchitis before a scheduled performance in Austin, Texas, his spokeswoman Susan Dubow said the following day.[52] Four other shows also had to be postponed. Manilow was back on the road that July 8 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dubow said this was only the second time in Manilow's career that illness forced him to postpone a performance.[53]

In 2003, Manilow purportedly had a facelift done in Beverly Hills, California.[54]

On January 31, 2004, Manilow was treated for stress-related chest pains during a 24-hour stay at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California. He was rushed to the hospital after two days of arbitration in a lawsuit to regain his rights to the original stage musical Harmony from producer Mark Schwartz. Manilow was diagnosed with an atrial fibrillation. After his heart rate returned to normal, doctors permitted him to return home.[55]

In June 2006, Manilow was examined by Dr. Lawrence Dorr, a Los Angeles hip specialist. Having had to deal with severe pain for about four years, he had been on increasingly heavier doses of pain pills to get through his 90-minute performances five nights a week in Las Vegas. Dr. Dorr believed the labrum, a ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the hip, was torn in each hip. An MRI was done that confirmed the presence of the tears. On August 28, 2006 Manilow underwent hip arthroscopy, a newer less-invasive procedure that repairs the hip rather than replacing it with an implant. Seven weeks after the surgery, Manilow made his return to performing at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.[56]

In media

In 1989, an American tabloid claimed that Manilow was engaged to porn star Robin Byrd. On a June 22, 1989, appearance on The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson asked Manilow about the headline story.[57] Manilow replied that he was just friends with Byrd, an innocent picture had been taken, and that there was no truth to the supposed engagement. After he met Byrd, his band gave him a videotape of Debbie Does Dallas as a present for his birthday. Manilow told Carson that he could not watch his friend doing what she does in that movie.[58]

To help with the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which affected the Charleston, South Carolina, area, Manilow held a benefit concert November 12, 1989, at the University of South Carolina's Carolina Coliseum in Columbia, where the $10 tickets sold out in three hours, and asked concertgoers to bring canned food to be donated to residents in disaster areas.[59] Before his concert, Mayor T. Patton Adams named that day "Barry Manilow Day" and Manilow presented the Red Cross and the Salvation Army with checks of $42,500 each.[60]

On January 15, 1994, three hours before showtime, Manilow canceled a performance at an Ethnic Pride and Heritage Festival hosted at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Benefactors included the Community Foundation of New Jersey as well as United Hospitals Medical Center Foundation and Newark Museum in Newark during the pre-inaugural activities for then New Jersey Governor-elect Christie Whitman. Manilow said in a statement that he was specifically told in writing that the concert would be part of a non-partisan event.[61] Organizers approached Donald Trump who shuffled his entertainment schedule at Trump Plaza and dispatched Paul Anka to substitute for Manilow. Manilow refunded the cash advance paid, shortly afterward.[62]

On February 8, 1994, Manilow sued Los Angeles radio station KBIG (104.3 FM), seeking $13 million in damages and $15 million in punitive damages, claiming that one of their advertisements was causing irreparable damage to his professional reputation. The ad, a thirty-second spot which began airing on January 31, suggested that people listen to KBIG because it does not play Manilow's music. The lawsuit was filed in Orange County Superior Court by Los Angeles attorney C. Tucker Cheadle.[63] Two days later, KBIG/104.3 FM agreed to drop the commercial poking fun at the singer, but a lawyer representing his business interests stopped short of agreeing to withdraw a $28 million lawsuit.[64]

Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Philip Espinosa, in another notable headline story, sued Manilow over the volume of a December 23, 1993, concert he attended with his wife.[65] The judge said in a lawsuit he has had a constant ringing in his ears and nearly blew his ears out. Espinosa sought unspecified damages, and the trial was set for September 23, 1997. The suit also named Manilow's production company, an Arizona concert promoter and the city of Tucson, Arizona, which runs the convention center where the concert was held. In July 1997, to settle the suit it was reported that Manilow donated $5,000 to American Tinnitus Association, an ear-disorder association.[66]

To help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for every US dollar donated by his fans to the American Red Cross through the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope website, Manilow personally matched, and the fund itself also matched, tripling the original donation. The fund delivered $150,000 in less than 48 hours to the American Red Cross, and hoped to raise a grand total of $300,000.[67][68]

Manilow made headlines in June 2006 when Australian officials blasted his music from 9pm until midnight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to deter gangs of youths from congregating in a residential area late at night.[69] On July 18, 2006, Manilow released a tongue-in-cheek statement saying that the youths might like his music.[70]

On October 27, 2011, Manilow visited Joplin, Missouri, a little more than five months after a tornado destroyed one-third of that city, including its only high school. His "Manilow Music Project" made a contribution of $300,000 to restore the musical program and instruments that were lost.[71]

In April, 2015, Manilow "married" his longtime manager and partner, Garry Kief. The small, private ceremony took place at their compound in Palm Springs, CA.[72] This ends decades of speculation and confirms assertions in Patricia Butler's 2002 biography of the artist.[73]



Selected TV and movie appearances

Barry Manilow, accompanied by long-time friend Linda Allen at the premiere of The Rose (starring Bette Midler), November 7, 1979

Notes and references

  1. S. Victor Aaron. "One Track Mind: Barry Manilow, "Bandstand Boogie" (1975) | Something Else!". Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  2. "Barry Manilow Bio | Barry Manilow Career". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  3. Huey, Steve. "Barry Manilow Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  4. 1 2 Patricia Butler, Barry Manilow, Omnibus Press, 2002. p. 223.
  5. Carr, Keiara (April 14, 2013). "Strike up the band". The Journal Gazette. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
  6. "Barry Manilow Biography: Singer, Songwriter (1943–)". (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  7. "Barry Manilow dismayed at how his Irish roots were denied". IrishCentral. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
  8. "Megan Smolenyak: Happy St. Patrick's Day, Barry Manilow!". The Huffington Post. March 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  9. 1 2 John M. Cunningham. "Barry Manilow". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  10. As reported on the Diane Rehm Show, July 3, 2013.
  11. Webber, Stephanie (April 8, 2015). "Barry Manilow Marries Longtime Manager Garry Kief". Us Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  12. "The Drunkard" (Press release). Music Theatre International. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008. Retrieved 2007-03-01.
  13. "A spirited musical: Clap, hiss and sing along as MAC stages historical temperance play scored by a young Barry Manilow" (Press release). July 26, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-01.
  14. BarryNet – His Music – Commercial Jingles, Barry Manilow - BarryNet - His Music - Commercial Jingles; retrieved December 5, 2006.
  15. Manilow, Barry (1975). "Jingle Letter". Scooter Talk. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
  16. BarryNet – The Man – Honors and Awards, Barry Manilow - BarryNet - The Man - Honors and Awards; retrieved December 5, 2006.
  17. "Barry Manilow Keeps Flying High Critics? 'They Really Can't Hurt Me'", Tulsa World, January 21, 1983.
  18. Barry Manilow Archived June 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. "Bette Midler: The Divine Miss M Tour (1972–73)". Archived from the original on November 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  20. American Bandstand with Barry Manilow/Minnie Riperton on March 22, 1975. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 30, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2006.
  22. BarryNet – The Man – At The Movies, Barry Manilow - BarryNet - The Man - At The Movies. Retrieved November 2, 2006.
  23. The Official Academy Awards Database, Academy Awards Database - AMPAS. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  24. HBO Guide, February 1979
  25. People, The Dallas Morning News, November 3, 1984
  26. "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  27. Newsmakers, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 1, 1983
  28. Peopletalk, The Valley Independent, December 1, 1983
  29. The longest shot; measuring Al Gore Jr. for the White House – Albert Gore Jr, Washington Monthly, November 1986
  30. Manilow: Bill Would Spell Disaster – Star Reacts To Source Licensing Moves, Billboard, October 11, 1986
  31. Barry Manilow swings on album – and at critics, Chicago Sun-Times, November 29, 1987
  32. "BARRY MANILOW (1989)". Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  33. The Broadway League. "Internet Broadway Database". Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  34. Sforza, John: "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story;" University Press of Kentucky, 2000; 289 pages.
  35. Kavitsky, Joyce (2008-05-13). "Phillips Philes: Manilow the lobbyist". Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  36. "Manilow and Sussman Control Harmony Musical Again; Is It Broadway-Bound?". February 19, 2004. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  37. La Jolla Playhouse Harmony – 1997, retrieved December 20, 2006 Archived October 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  38. "Excite". Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  39. Lyricists Compete for Barry Manilow Scholarship at UCLA Extension, Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI)
  40. Las Vegas Hilton Signs Barry Manilow to Long-Term Engagement, PRNewswire, December 14, 2004
  41. "Las Vegas Hilton and Barry Manilow celebrate chart success by announcing extension of Manilow's successful long-term engagement; superstar receives "Key" to the Hilton, his exclusive home through 2008", Las Vegas Hilton Press Room, March 27, 2006
  42. Barry Manilow Croons For ET, Entertainment Tonight, January 27, 2006 Archived January 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  43. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  44. "Radio 2 Programmes – They Write the Songs, George Gershwin". BBC. 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  45. "New Manilow album inspired by Britney Spears". The Marquee Blog. CNN. June 6, 2011.
  46. "Manilow on Broadway on Broadway – Information, Cast, Crew, Synopsis and Photos". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  47. "A Capitol Fourth".
  48. "Barry Manilow Receives 15th GRAMMY Nomination for MY DREAM DUETS : Manilow Has Received A GRAMMY Nomination In Each Of The Last Five Decades". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  49. "Farewell Barry Manilow Tour to Launch in 2015". Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  50. Crooner Manilow 'Feeling Fine' after Emergency Stomach Upset, San Jose Mercury News, May 15, 1989
  51. People, Contra Costa Times, June 29, 1997
  53. Account (2003-08-21). "Barry Manilow, The Wig And The Plastic Surgeon". Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  54. Manilow Returns Home Following Hospital Stay for 'Broken Heart', PRNewswire, February 2, 2004
  55. , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 24, 2006
  56. Johnny Carson|The King of Late Night The Official Tonight Show Website: Guest Search 6/22/89
  57. "Robin Byrd with Barry Manilow". Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  58. "Barry Manilow Concert Scheduled Benefit Performance to Raise Money for Hurricane Relief Effort", The Charlotte Observer, October 9, 1989
  59. "For a Song", The State, November 13, 1989
  60. "Manilow Passes On Gala". Palm Beach Post. January 17, 1994.
  61. "Manilow Mix-Up Resolved". Philadelphia Inquirer. February 12, 1994.
  62. Volzke, Jonathan (February 11, 1994). "Don't Play Barry? Then Pay Barry Radio: Singer sues KBIG for touting no-Manilow format". The Orange County Register.
  63. Lycan, Gary (February 11, 1994). "KBIG stops needling Manilow Controversy: The Los Angeles radio station backs down after mocking the singer in ads". The Orange County Register.
  64. "People, Places & Things in the News: Barry Manilow". Associated Press. March 29, 1997.
  65. "Small Victory Against Loud Music". Associated Press. July 12, 1997.
  66. "Manilow Fund Set To Triple Aid For Hurricane Katrina Relief", PRNewswire, September 3, 2005
  67. "Barry Manilow and Manilow Fund Matching Donations For Hurricane Katrina Relief". September 3, 2005. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  68. "Barry Manilow Annoyed that his Music May Annoy Others". World Entertainment News. July 18, 2006. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  69. Manilow, Barry (July 18, 2006). "Barry's Response to Australia's Plan". BarryNet.
  70. "Barry Manilow Saves the Music in Joplin, Mo. – ABC News". October 17, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  71. "3 Things to Know About Barry Manilow's New Husband, Garry Kief". People. April 8, 2015.
  72. "Exclusive - 'I'm glad that he's found love and happiness': Barry Manilow's ex-wife speaks out following revelation he simulated marriage with long-time manager last year". Daily Mail. April 11, 2015.
  73. "Ella Award Special Events". February 12, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  74. "58th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees". Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  75. "Cilla Black Discography: You'll Never Walk Alone (duet with Barry Manilow) – Single". Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  76. "Fans cheer Barry Manilow". Archived from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2010.

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