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'In a world forever striving for peace, could Barry Manilow be the answer?'
(The Washington Post after Barry Manilow’s headlining performance at the recent Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway)
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) andand Billboard Magazines. Rolling Stonecrowned 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.”Manilow’s roots are in his native Brooklyn, where music was an integral part of his life. By the age of seven, he was taking accordion lessons and playing on a neighbor’s piano. Chosing a career in music while still in his teens, he 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, he 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 Manilow 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 Manilow’s Arista single reached Number One in early 1975, it ignited one of the most incandescent careers in pop.
Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R, 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 Manilow 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, 29 albums by Manilow have been certified platinum.In June 2002, Manilow was inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music’s Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Ashford & Simpson, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman, and Sting.
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. Manilow is the national spokesperson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and a member of the Music Center of Los Angeles.