What do you do when you have done everything? After 5 decades in the spotlight, 15 Grammy® nominations, and the uncanny ability to remain both relevant and prolific in an evolving musical landscape – with Dave Grohl famously pegging Manilow as "the coolest mother***ker in the world" – Manilow's career remains as a uniquely compelling example of how far musical passion can take you. With roots in his native Brooklyn, music was an integral part of his life. By the age of seven, Manilow was taking accordion lessons and playing on a neighbor’s piano. From his life as a gifted student at the New York College of Music, to Julliard; as musical director for the CBS show "Callback," to the meeting with Bette Midler that led to his solo career with Bell Records, segueing into his lightning-fast rise to fame in 1975 for Clive Davis and Arista Records with #1 hit "Mandy," Manilow has never been one to take success for granted. His love of music was, and still is, in arranging, composing and songwriting - yet his is among the most iconic voices of a generation. On "My Funny Valentine," he leans into his comfort zone of jazz arrangement for acoustic piano, and delivers a warm, vibrato-infused croon for the romantic hopefuls among us.
With 50 Top 40 hits to his credit, top all-time Adult Contemporary artist, Grammy®, Emmy®, and Tony® Award winner, and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Barry Manilow is back just in time for Valentine's Day, with this beautifully sparse, piano-led rendition of a timeless classic. Writer Will Friedwald says that "My Funny Valentine" was really born when Frank Sinatra recorded it in 1953. Since then, it has been covered by over 600 artists including Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Sting, and Chet Baker. Now, Barry Manilow joins yet another prestigious group of inspired artists in allegiance to his craft.
At 76 years young, Manilow shows no signs of slowing down: he received the BMI Icon Award in 2017, and his current residency in Las Vegas, "MANILOW: LAS VEGAS – The Hits Come Home!" made its debut in May 2018 to rave reviews and sold-out audiences, going on to win the Best of Las Vegas awards for Best Resident Performer/Headliner and Best New Show. His next project for the theater will be HARMONY, set to make its New York theater debut in 2020, which tells the true story of The Comedian Harmonists, a close harmony ensemble of six young men in 1930s Germany, who took the world by storm until their religious composition – a mixture of Jews and Gentiles – put them on a collision course with history. His work with other performers bears the same hallmark of exceptionalism, as every album produced by Manilow for other artists – including Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, and Dionne Warwick – has been nominated for a Grammy® Award.
The legacy of Manilow's talent and storied career, as well as his well-earned reputation for philanthropy and generosity of spirit, is both legendary and vast. In 2008, Manilow created The Manilow Music Project as part of his Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, where he collects instruments for school children across America by leading donation campaigns in every concert city he visits, and by giving a Yamaha piano to each local school district. When you have already done everything, the life of Barry Manilow shows us that there is always a way to keep doing what you love; his inspiration is the world's inspiration, and his songs belong to us all.
This song is featured on our Rainy Day playlist.
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