Barry Manilow, whose career encompasses virtually every arena of music, including performing, composing, arranging and producing, will join the Top 11 Finalists on the American Idol stage tomorrow night to perform a song from his newly minted Platinum album "Greatest Songs of the Fifties," (which debuted on the Billboard Charts at No. 1) on the American Idol results show Wednesday, March 22 (9:00-9:32 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Tonight's performance show (Tuesday, March 21, 8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), dedicated to "music of the '50s," will feature highlights from the finalists' first meeting with Manilow, who gave them advice as they prepared to perform their songs.
Currently, industry charts rank Manilow the undisputed No. 1 adult contemporary artist of all time, with total record sales exceeding 75 million worldwide. This pop icon has written hundreds of songs and performed around the globe, thrilling millions of fans and winning a Grammy, an Emmy, several Tony Awards and an Oscar nomination along the way.
Manilow's roots are in Brooklyn, NY, where music was an integral part of his life. By the age of 7, he was a budding artist taking accordion lessons and playing on a neighbor's piano. Deciding to make music his career, he attended New York College of Music and The Juilliard School while working in the mailroom at CBS to pay his expenses. In 1972, Manilow met Bette Midler and became her music director, arranger and pianist. Later that year, he signed with Bell Records (later Arista Records) to record his debut solo album, which marked the beginning of an amazing career.
Manilow has long been a supporter of charitable and humanitarian efforts around the world. In addition to his own foundation, the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, his altruistic involvement includes The Prince's Trust, United Way, the Starlight Foundation, numerous organizations fighting the battle against AIDS and many others. He is the national spokesperson for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and a member of the National Academy of Jazz Board of Governors and the Music Center of Los Angeles.