Born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, New York, on June 17, 1943, Barry Manilow is best known for his romantic and borderline saccharine songs. But before achieving stardom, Manilow was a whipping boy for the critics throughout much of the 1970s, even as he sold millions of albums and gained a huge audience base. Though he didn't always write music, even when recording work by other artists, Manilow cultivated a lush and melodic musical style that was popular during the pre-rock era. His style evolved during the early 1980s, from tame, string-laden, AM-radio pop to a more classic, jazzy sound influenced by both swing and 1930s and '40s Broadway show tunes (many of which he later covered).

Barry Manilow attended the Juilliard School in New York City before writing music for television and advertising. In the 1970s, Manilow's voice could be heard singing "You Deserve A Break Today" on ads for McDonald's. His big break came when he teamed up with Bette Midler for a nightclub act, leading to solo hits like "Mandy" (1974), "I Write the Songs" (1975)

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