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With worldwide record sales exceeding 80 million, BARRY MANILOW is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time with 47 top 40 hits. Manilow has produced, arranged, and released over 40 albums over the course of his career. Manilow’s latest album, Live in London, is available now.
In the winter of 2010, Manilow received his latest Grammy nomination for The Greatest Love Songs of All Time, co-produced by Manilow, Clive Davis, and Michael Lloyd. The platinum album The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties was released January 31, 2006, and became his first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 album chart and first No. 1 album since the triple-platinum double-LP Barry Manilow/Live. The platinum album The Greatest Songs Of The Sixties was released October 31, 2006, entering the chart at No. 2. 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 No. 4, making it Manilow’s 33rd charting album, his 11th Top 10, and his 10th Top 10 debut, and making him the only artist to have three top four debuts on the Billboard 200 chart in two years.
The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties marked the fourth collaboration between Manilow and Clive Davis, when he returned 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 No. 1 single, after he became the first performer signed by Clive Davis to Arista in 1974, the first year of the label’s existence.
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 Juilliard School of Music while working in the mailroom at CBS. He subsequently became musical director for a CBS show named Callback that 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 No. 1 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 (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 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-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, while Barry Manilow/Live (1977), Even Now (1978), and Greatest Hits (1978) are each certified triple 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 2008 created the Manilow Music Project as part of his Manilow Fund for Health and Hope (manilowmusicproject.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. Manilow performed his first ever Hollywood Bowl orchestra-backed concert on October 24, 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, Manilow raised nearly half a million for local charities in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley leading into Christmas 2009, which with this latest charitable donation takes his efforts well over one million. MMP has been the driving force in instrument drives and donations in major markets across the country, and continues with every new show Manilow performs.