Born in Brooklyn, Manilow studied Musical Theatre at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts and by his early 20s was fully immersed in producing, piano playing and arranging. He excelled at creating commercial jingles for some major league brands as well as operating as the musical director for TV shows on the big networks.
He was then spotted by Bette Midler who utilized his skills ultimately resulting in Manilow being nominated for his work on Midler’s 1973 release The Divine Miss M in the Album of the Year category at the Grammys. Two years later he was in the spotlight himself, in the Record of the Year category for his song Mandy under the guidance of Clive Davis and his Bell and Arista label. This song achieved a Number 1 position in the US and was taken from his Manilow II album. The following year he was there again, for Record of the Year and Song Of The Year with I Write The Songs a Number 1 single in the US again in January 1976. A year later he hit Number 1 again with Looks Like We Made It off his album This One’s For You.
Manilow’s star continued to rise, he released his album Even Now in 1978 and from this came Copocabana, Can’t Smile Without You and the title track. This album really helped propel Manilow to greater global success, especially in the UK. He was one of the first artists also to really benefit from the TV special format for which he became a multiple Emmy winner. The Even Now album was nominated for Album of the Year but the song Copacabana )At The Copa) won the prize for Best Male Pop Vocal.
Manilow’s touring base became enormous, multiple nights at some of the largest and most prestigious venues on both sides of the Atlantic. Manilow is one of the ultimate songwriters, performers and full showman.
His accolades continued throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, being nominated for his track Blue with Sarah Vaughan in 1985 for Best Jazz Vocal Performance and then for Best Traditional Pop Vocal for his Manilow Sings Sinatra album in 1999. Not stopping there, two more nominations came Manilow’s way for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for both his In The Swing Of Christmas album in 2008 and also for his Greatest Love Songs Of All Time album in 2010.