Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, New York on June 17 1943) is an American singer and songwriter. Manilow dominated the 1970s soft rock scene with a string of top ten hits and multi-platinum albums. Despite the frequent barbs from critics and lampooning by comedians, Manilow's fans and music soldier on as evidenced by the No. 1 debut of his 2002 greatest hits album Ultimate Manilow, and being dubbed "showman of our generation" recently by Rolling Stone.
(Manilow's record label Arista took three years off his announced age when he was really 32--in 1975--and made him 29 years old so he would appeal to teens as well; this made him appear to have been born in 1946 instead of his actual birth year which is 1943. Manilow also reportedly wrote to Playboy in 1965—when he would have been 22—asking for advice about music.)
Early in his career, Manilow worked as a pianist, producer and arranger, accompanying Bette Midler among others. Manilow's solo hits include "Mandy" (1974), "Copacabana (At The Copa)" (1978), "I Write The Songs" (1975) "The Old songs" (1981),"Hey Mambo" (1987) "Turn The Radio Up" (2001), and "They Dance!" (2001).
Manilow appeared as a guest judge and even arranged music for American Idol on April 24, 2004, the year in which he also embarked on his "One Night Live! One Last Time!" final tour. Some fans were unhappy that Manilow charged his fans $1000 to meet him after the show for charity. Critics are not uniformly impressed by the tour, either, noting that the name of the tour suggests that he should be emphasizing his repertoire of Top 40 hits, instead of kitschy Broadway-style production numbers, and an apparently rather notorious crotch-grabbing gesture during the performance of Copacabana.
Although not all Manilow's hits were written by him (the most notable instance, ironically, being "I Write The Songs", actually written by lyricist Bruce Johnston), he co-wrote, with lyricist Bruce Sussman , a musical, Harmony , which was originally to have been produced in Philadelphia during 2003. After financial difficulties and a legal battle, Manilow and Sussman won back the rights to the musical which is now to be produced on stage in 2005.
Manilow made an appearance (performing Can't Smile Without You, Mandy, I Write The Songs and songs from his latest album) on the Oprah Winfrey show on 7th April 2005.
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