"Among the few things one can count on in life: the taste of McDonald's cheeseburgers, "I Love Lucy" reruns are still funny—and Barry Manilow never wearing out his welcome at the top of the charts", Billboard Magazine.
With worldwide sales of more than 80 million records, Barry Manilow’s success is a benchmark in popular music. His concerts sell out instantly. He is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records) and Billboard magazines. Rolling Stone crowned him “a giant among entertainers… the showman of our generation,” and Frank Sinatra summed up Manilow best when Ol’ Blue Eyes told the British press, “He’s next.”
In early 2005, Manilow rocked Las Vegas when he opened his multi million dollar production of Mailow: Music and Passion at the Las Vegas Hilton. Following a sold out five year run, Manilow was lured to the Las Vegas Strip and the Theatre des Arts at The Paris Hotel. Working with industry veteran Jeffrey Hornaday, Manilow opens his new Las Vegas spectacular in March, 2010.
On The Greatest Love Songs of All Time, co-produced by Manilow, Clive Davis, available everywhere on Janurary 26th, 2010 and Michael Lloyd (Somewhere in Time and Dirty Dancing), Manilow presents loving interpretations and arrangements of classic love songs for the Manilow and music fan alike.
The album selections include jazz and American standards, as well as songs from the “Great White Way” and silver screen includingIrving Berlin’s”How Deep Is The Ocean?,” and George Gershwin’s “Love is Here To Stay.” Other beloved hits include: “You Made Me Love You,” “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “The Theme From Love Story (Where Do I Begin),” “Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You),” and “It Could Happen To You.” The album also features great renditions of “The Look Of Love,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “The Twelfth of Never,” and an emotional reading of “When You Were Sweet Sixteen.”
“I’ve loved these songs for as long as I can remember”, said Manilow. “It was an honor to sing songs written by some of the masters of pop songwriting.”
Manilow has given the gift of collections in the best-selling series of tributes to popular music. RIAA platinum The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties released January 31, 2006, which incidentally became his first #1 debut on the Billboard 200 album chart and first #1 album since the triple-platinum double-LP Barry Manilow/Live; RIAA platinum The Greatest Songs Of The Sixties released October 31, 2006, entering the chart at #2 and was the all-time highest first sales week debut chart entry of Manilow’s career. With those two albums, Manilow became the first artist since 1981 to have two albums in the top two positions in one calendar year on the Billboard chart. Next came The Greatest Songs Of The Seventies, released September 18, 2007, entering the Billboard charts at #4, making The Greatest Songs of the Seventies Manilow’s 33rd charting album, his 11th Top 10 and his 10th Top 10 debut and the only artist to have three Top four debuts on the Billboard 200 chart in two years.
The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties marks the fourth collaboration between Manilow and Clive Davis, BMG U.S. Chairman & CEO, since the singer’s return to the Arista label after a five-year absence (which was distinguished by new albums on Concord and Columbia.) As the founder and president of Arista Records for its first 25 years, Davis was a perennial collaborator with Manilow on virtually all his recordings. They first worked together on “Mandy,” Manilow’s debut #1 single, after he became the first performer signed by Clive Davis to Arista in 1974, the first year of the label’s existence.
The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties is yet one more example of Barry Manilow’s timeless appeal to every cross-section of society, to bridge generations and positively influence the world over with both music and lyric. As the charter member of the Arista artist roster, Manilow has won a unique place in the pantheon of American performers. Manilow recently released In The Swing of Christmas in the fall of 2008, which provides a timely complement to the first four albums in the ‘Decades’ series.
“No one can reinvent the great classics better than Barry Manilow,” comments Davis. “He breathes new life and vitality into these truly wonderful songs and they sound fresh and timeless. We continue on the mission to bring to a new generation the great songs of a different era.”
That goal has been the creative spark for several Manilow concept albums that have interpreted music of earlier decades. Among the titles are 1984’s groundbreaking 2:00 AM Paradise Café featuring jazz legends Sarah Vaughan, Mel Tormé and Gerry Mulligan. Swing Street (1987) featured guest appearances by Stan Getz, Phyllis Hyman, Kid Creole, and Diane Schuur. Later came Showstoppers (1991), spanning nearly a century of Broadway show tunes.
On 1994’s Singin’ With the Big Bands, Barry was paired with the orchestras of Les Brown, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Harry James, and Glenn Miller on a glorious set of Swing Era standards. Most recently, there was 1998’s Manilow Sings Sinatra, which paired Barry with Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone, paying homage to the great songs made famous by the legendary Frank Sinatra. Clive Davis called it “an enriching, exciting and fulfilling album” that complemented the earlier Manilow concept recordings.
Barry Manilow’s roots are in his native Brooklyn, where music was an integral part of his life. By the age of seven, Barry was taking accordion lessons and playing on a neighbor’s piano. He chose a career in music while still in his teens, and attended New York College of Music and the Julliard School of Music while working in the mailroom at CBS. He subsequently became musical director for a CBS show named “Callback” which led to a lucrative sideline on New York’s advertising jingle circuit.
In 1971, Barry Manilow met Bette Midler and became her music director, arranger and pianist. The following year, Manilow signed with Bell Records to record his debut solo album. In 1974, Clive Davis founded a new label, Arista, along with Columbia Pictures. Davis had the right to choose any artist on the Columbia Pictures-owned Bell Records to bring to Arista. Davis chose Manilow and the rest is history. He famously brought Barry a recent U.K. hit song entitled “Brandy” (by its writer Scott English). Clive changed the title to “Mandy” so it wouldn’t be confused with the Looking Glass U.S. hit “Brandy.” When Barry’s Arista single reached Number One in early 1975, it ignited one of the most incandescent careers in pop.
Barry Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records), with no less than 25 consecutive Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1975 and 1983. The list includes all-time favorites that Barry still sings today: “Mandy,” “It’s A Miracle,” “Could It Be Magic,” “I Write the Songs,” “Tryin’ To Get the Feeling Again,” “This One’s For You,” “Weekend In New England,” “Looks Like We Made It,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Even Now,” and the Grammy Award-winning “Copacabana (At the Copa).” All of these songs (and more) were anthologized on the commemorative 1992 four-CD boxed-set, Barry Manilow: The Complete Collection And Then Some.
To date, twenty-nine albums by Barry Manilow have been certified platinum, while Barry Manilow/Live (1977), Even Now (1978), and Greatest Hits (1978) are each certified triple platinum.
Albums produced by Barry Manilow for other artists – including Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, and Dionne Warwick – have been nominated for Grammy Awards. A winner of Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Awards, Manilow’s film credits include the Oscar-nominated song “Ready To Take A Chance Again” (from 1978’s Foul Play), production of Bette Midler’s “Perfect Isn’t Easy” (from Walt Disney’s Oliver and Company), and the soundtracks for the animated features Thumbelina and The Pebble and the Penguin.
Highlights of Manilow’s theater career range from his Tony Award-winning Broadway debut in 1977 (in the same year that ABC-TV presented “The Barry Manilow Special” to an audience of 37 million) to an SRO eight-week run on the Great White Way in 1989. Beginning in 1997, Barry Manilow’s Copacabana – The Musical, an elaborate two-act spectacular, played to packed houses in London’s West End for 18 months before touring the U.S., Australia and Asia. June 2001 saw the opening of Could It Be Magic? – The Barry Manilow Songbook.
The singer has made countless television appearances ranging from Emmy-winning network specials to cable concerts, and released such best-selling long-form home videos as Live On Broadway and Because It's Christmas. His two-hour 1996 A&E special, “Barry Manilow: Live by Request” was the highest rated music show in the network's history. Manilow has also appeared on the highly rated TV series “Murphy Brown,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Will & Grace.” In 2006, Barry received his fifth Emmy nomination and an Emmy win for the PBS special “Manilow: Music and Passion.” The broadcast celebrated Barry Manilow’s 100th performance at the Las Vegas Hilton. Produced by Stiletto Television, the Rhino DVD of the PBS special was soon certified triple platinum. Recently Manilow released Barry Manilow Happy Holiday! which is Barry’s holiday-themed television special from A&E’s “Live By Request.” Originally broadcast from New York City on a snowy December night in 2003, this show is one of the highest-rated A&E “Live By Request” performances ever.
In June 2002, Barry Manilow was inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music’s Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Ashford & Simpson, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman, and Sting.
Barry Manilow is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Jazz. His autobiography, Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise, was published by McGraw-Hill in 1987. In addition to his own foundation, the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, other involvements include The Prince's Trust, United Way, the Starlight Foundation, and several leading organizations for AIDS prevention and research. Barry Manilow is the national spokesperson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and a member of the Music Center of Los Angeles.
Manilow recently created the Manilow Music Project as part of his Manilow Fund for Health and Hope (www.manilowfund.org). Answering the call of need at a time when arts and music programs in most schools is the first casualty in budget cuts, MMP provided $500,000 worth of musical instruments, as well as sheet music and music stands to 21 local schools in the Coachella Valley He recently performed his first ever solo concert at the Hollywood Bowl on October 24th, 2009–where, in association with the Manilow Music Project and the Grammy Foundation, he raised a donation of $100,000 in musical instruments for the LAUSD. An avid philanthropist, this past December his concert series A Gift of Love raised nearly half a million for local charities in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area which with this latest charitable donation takes his efforts well over one million.
As Manilow says, “Anyone can make a difference. Just call your local schools and ask them what they need. Get ‘em a new set of drums! Music changes a young person’s life.”