Who Is Marilyn Manson?
Born Brian Hugh Warner on January 5, 1969, in Canton, Ohio, Marilyn Manson combined the names of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson for his stage name. Discovered by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson and his eponymous band created such goth albums as Antichrist Superstar and Smells Like Children, to the joy of troubled teens and the chagrin of their parents.
Brian Hugh Warner was born on January 5, 1969, in Canton, Ohio, to Hugh and Barb Warner. Brian Warner endured a tough childhood, as he was molested several times by a neighbor. The trauma put the young boy on a path of rebellion as he tried to reconcile the incidents with his daily life.
After high school, Warner and his family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for his father's job. There, the young Manson enrolled at a local community college called Broward, where he studied journalism and theater. Warner's first foray into the music business came as an entertainment journalist for a local magazine in Fort Lauderdale. This gave him the opportunity to interview several famous musicians, including Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. During this time as a journalist, Warner formed a band called Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. Manson has stated that he got the name for his alter ego by combining Marilyn Monroe's first name with Charles Manson's last. Later, the band would change the name simply to Marilyn Manson.
In 1993, Marilyn Manson and his band earned a contract from Trent Reznor's record label, Nothing, based on their performances and self-released cassettes in the Fort Lauderdale area. The record contract also earned them a spot on Nine Inch Nails's 1994 tour. Marilyn Manson's first album was titled Portrait of an American Family. Produced by Reznor, it gave Manson his first taste of commercial success, as he gained a cult following after its release.
On Smells Like Children, an EP released by Marilyn Manson in 1995, Manson enjoyed his first heavy play on MTV with a cover of the Eurythmics song "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)." This cover eventually helped Smells Like Children reach platinum. In 1996, Marilyn Manson hit it big with the release of the group's second album, Antichrist Superstar. The album, co-produced by Reznor, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In 1997, Marilyn Manson co-wrote his autobiography with noted rock journalist Neil Strauss, titled The Long Road Out of Hell. That same year, he released a second EP, Remix & Repent, and made his film debut in David Lynch's Lost Highway. Manson also appeared in later films, including Jawbreaker (1999), Party Monster (2003) and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004).
Marilyn Manson achieved his greatest success in 1998 with the release of Mechanical Animals. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and helped propel ticket sales to his Last Tour on Earth, which kicked off a year later. For the album and tour, Manson adopted an alter-ego glam rocker persona, an androgynous space alien named Omega.
Later Albums and Personal
Marilyn Manson released Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) in 2000 and went on tour in support of the album the following year. During a performance in Michigan, he was charged with sexual misconduct by a security guard for allegedly performing an offensive act. Later on the tour, he was hit with a civil suit alleging that Manson rubbed his pelvis on a security guard's head. The misconduct charge was later lowered to a misdemeanor, and the civil suit was dropped.
In 2003, Marilyn Manson and his band released their fifth studio album with The Golden Age of Grotesque. It spent a week atop the charts and was critically acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year. Manson announced the release of his subsequent album, Eat Me, Drink Me, in 2005, but it was not released until mid-2007. As with his earlier studio efforts, Manson was heavily involved with the writing, coordinating and producing of the record. Manson and his former bandmate, Twiggy Ramirez, reunited and delivered the band's seventh album, The High End of Low, in 2009.
After founding a record label named Hell, etc., Marilyn Manson released Born Villain in 2012 and The Pale Emperor in 2015. The latter album, co-produced with Tyler Bates, earned strong reviews for its focused, blues-tinged sound. Manson also continued to pursue acting, appearing in such popular TV shows as Californication, Eastbound & Down and Sons of Anarchy.
After teasing the release of new music in late 2016, Marilyn Manson debuted two singles, "We Know Where You F*****g Live" and "Kill4Me," in September 2017. The tracks were part of the band's 10th album, Heaven Upside Down, which was praised by critics for building on the promise of the previous studio effort.
Throughout Manson's career, he has been accused and vilified for being a Satan worshipper, and for following the Church of Satan, of which he is a "reverend." His shows have been protested, boycotted and subsequently canceled because of his perceived "dark" views and stage antics.
Manson was once engaged to actress Rose McGowan. He married burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese in late 2005, but they divorced in 2007 amid rumors of the rocker's affair with actress Evan Rachel Wood. Manson later was briefly engaged to Wood.
The singer sustained a broken fibula while performing in support of his new album in September 2017, forcing him to postpone his tour. The following summer, Manson made headlines when video captured what appeared to be him getting arrested at a festival in Bangor, Maine, though it turned out the police were in on the joke.
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