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Barry Manilow

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With a slenderer than average physique and quirky looks unlike the stereotypical “boy next door” model, American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow (born June 17, 1943) might have seemed an unlikely candidate for pop idol status. Yet Manilow, an American studio musician, jingle writer and eventually music director for Bette Midler’s concerts, would become one of the most adored pop figures of the 1980s.

In his heyday, Manilow was the butt of endless parodies and jokes, among them skits on Not the Nine O'Clock News, which gives an indication of the extent of his popularity.

As his fans aged, Manilow moved off the pop charts and today’s young adults may not even know who he is. Amusing footage from Season Three of the popular television show American Idol shows a confused young make-up artist who had obviously been asked to make up Manilow asking Randy Jackson “Are you Barry?” Manilow’s muttered reaction was “this is so (expletive) depressing!” Incidents like this notwithstanding, Manilow still remains popular in the Adult Contemporary genre; according to his Official Website, his performances still “sell out instantly” and according to Billboard Magazine he is one of the best-charting pop artists of all time.

Compositions

Advertising jingles

  • Get a Bucket of Chicken (have a barrel of fun) – (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
  • You Deserve a Break Today – (MacDonald’s)

Pop songs

  • Mandy
  • MacArthur Park
  • Weekend in New England
  • Can’t Smile Without You
  • I Made it Through the Rain
  • Even Now
  • Could This be Magic? (Could it be Magic?) ??
  • Copacabana (At the Copa)