Name: Barry Manilow
Jobs: Singer and Producer
|Famous For: "Mandy," "Copacabana (At the Copa)," and "Can't Smile Without You"|
Jobs Singer and Producer
Famous For "Mandy," "Copacabana (At the Copa)," and "Can't Smile Without You"
“At the copa, Copacabana. The hottest spot north of Havana…” Getting his start as a commercial jingle writer working behind the scenes, everything changed for Barry Manilow when he finally took the stage for himself in the early 1970s. By 1973, the Brooklyn native released his self-titled debut album only to become a household name in the music industry the following year when his single “Mandy” climbed to the top of the charts in the United States. Before long, Manilow was one of the most popular singers of the decade with sold-out arenas filled with fans singing along to hits like “I Write the Songs,” “Looks Like We Made It” and “Can’t Smile Without You,” all of which reached the top three on the mainstream charts.
Deemed the “showman of our generation” by Rolling Stone magazine and considered one of the best-selling artists of all time, Manilow continues to enjoy incredible success from headlining in Las Vegas to spending decades touring around the world. Seeming to defy even age at 73 years old, Manilow still looks great in the spotlight but, according to numerous sources, he hasn’t had a natural transition into old age like he wants the world to believe. As a matter of fact, the first reports surfaced in 2013 when Manilow said he broke his nose after waking up half asleep in the middle of the night and accidentally walking directly into a wall, which resulted in his first rhinoplasty.
“I veered left instead of right and slammed into the wall,” Manilow said. “I may have to have my nose fixed and, with this nose, it’s going to require major surgery.” Despite his good intentions to spin the story, few people bought the gimmick and argued that Manilow made up the tall tale to going under the knife without igniting a whirlwind of rumors and criticism from the media. One plastic surgeon sad that “with someone like Barry Manilow, who has millions of fans who associate him with his nose, it would have been hard for him to avoid people trying to prevent him from having surgery.”
Had Manilow only opted for a rhinoplasty to repair his broken nose people might have believed his story; however, Manilow’s nose wasn’t the only part of his appearance that looked different. In addition to completely transforming his iconic beak, Manilow opted to have his skin tightened on his face with additional reports that he opted for a facelift as well after he was spotted leaving the hospital in a wig and sunglasses. Of course, the “Mandy” singer denied the accusations and stuck to his original story despite being widely criticized.
After Manilow resurfaced with his new appearance, the rumors continued to run wild as critics said he was getting regular Botox injections to keep his face looking youthful and remove all signs of aging and unwanted wrinkles. Tabloids even took their criticism one step further and reported Manilow looked “to be a caricature” of his former self, to which Manilow turned the other (wax-like) cheek.
Manilow said that reading the rumors and headlines was “infuriating” but not even his anger could lead him to finally admit the truth. “That’s the way I’m aging,” he said. “Really, this is what I look like. I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.” Later admitting that dealing with the rumors was exhausting and only adding to his stress levels, Manilow said, “This is me at 70. It is, I swear.” Stressing that he looks the same way most people in their 70s look, he encouraged his critics to watch his live performances as his aging bones have affected his mobility to move around like he once did.
Much like he refused to give up on his passion for music, Manilow has remained steadfast in facing his critics head on over the last few years. “So, when I see those pictures with my face blown up, they attribute that to me and bad plastic surgery,” he said. “This had nothing to do with plastic surgery, because I’m not interested in it. But I see these pictures and it does look strange.”
With no signs of a confession coming from Manilow anytime soon, it hasn’t stopped his most loyal fans from embracing his “accidental collision” story and his new look. To prove their dedication to the “Copacabana” crooner, fans paid top dollar for tickets to his 2015 farewell tour filled with over five decades of hits that took the singer across the United States and ended with his 72nd birthday celebration in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York at the Barclay’s Center. From the spray tan or the new nose to the rumored face lift, plastic surgery obviously hasn’t hurt Manilow’s ability to belt out hits. After all, he writes the songs that make the whole world sing, songs of love and special things that make even the young girls cry.