|Barry Manilow is one of the most enduring singers of all time. His infectious music has resonated with multiple generations, exuding a pop sound that gives Manilow’s work a timeless quality. Known for hits such as “I Write the Songs,” “Mandy,” “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).” Though some critics never warmed to the romantic inclinations of his music, Manilow’s music garnered respect from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, and continues to touch millions of fans to this day. Buy your Barry Manilow tickets now to experience one of pop’s legendary icons!
The road to success
Barry Pincus was born in Booklyn in 1943, but adopted his mother’s maiden name of Manilow after his father left. By age 7, Manilow was playing piano and accordion and focused on music throughout his childhood and adolescence. Manilow was accepted to Juilliard School of Music and began working in the mail room at CBS to pay for school. He rose the ranks and became a musical director for the show “Callback,&” and then began working as a jingle writer. By the early 1970s, Manilow had composed jingles for major brands such as Dr. Pepper, McDonalds, State Farm and Band Aid.
In 1971, Manilow began performing as the pianist for Bette Midler before they both made their big break. Manilow helped Midler with her first two albums and soon was offered a record deal with the label Bell. By 1973, he released his first full-length, simply titled Barry Manilow I. Though it wasn’t much of a hit, Bell label head Clive Davis asked Manilow to record a U.K. hit titled “Brandy” on his next album. Manilow obliged, but changed the name to “Mandy” to avoid confusion. The single appeared on Barry Manilow II, and hit the top of the charts in 1975.
That same year Manilow released Tryin’ to Get the Feeling, which went triple platinum and included the classic “I Write the Songs.” He followed this success up quickly with a full-length LP dubbed This One’s For You. In 1977, Manilow released a double concert album that reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard charts and won a Emmy Award for doing an ABC primetime special. Manilow continued to do TV specials for the network in the following years, and continued to produce top 10 hits throughout the remainder of the decade.
Though Manilow’s sound waned from favor slightly in the 80s, he quickly began experimenting with new sounds and continued to attract fans around the world. By coalescing swing, jazz and pop music, Manilow redefined his artistic identity, while simultaneously continuing to wow audiences with his showmanship and live performances. He steadily released a blend of new material, cover songs, concert albums and greatest hits compilations throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s. In 2002, Manilow was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in the same class as Sting, Randy Newman and Michael Jackson.