Barry Manilow is no stranger to fame. The "Copacabana" singer has sold 80 million records worldwide and hit the peak of stardom in the '70s with five albums simultaneously topping the charts. But Manilow delves even deeper into the idea of fame in his new album, "15 Minutes," which comes out today.
The concept album explores the ins and outs of living in the spotlight, tackling the rise and fall of a hypothetical celebrity. But with track titles like "Work the Room" and "He's a Star," there's no doubt that Manilow is singing at least partly from his own experience.
Known for and occasionally ridiculed for his love ballads that have had female "fanilows" flocking to him for decades, Manilow amassed more than a dozen top 20 hits throughout the '70s and '80s, most notably classics like "Mandy," "I Write the Songs" and "Looks Like We Made It." His status as a legendary musician landed him a permanant gig at Paris Las Vegas, for which he recently celebrated his 100th show.
But Manilow has also said he was inspired by contemporary instances of megastardom. In a recent interview with Reuters, the singer said his album began to develop as Britney Spears was enduring a public meltdown and he wondered, "Is this the price of fame?"
In recent years, Manilow has also transifixed the media with his seemingly ageless and certainly wrinkle-free face. While he turns 68 this week, his youthful looks have brought about questions of plastic surgery. Manilow denied the claims to Reuters. "Not a thing," he said, crediting his physique to his diet and exercise regimen.