Barry Manilow and his music will be featured on Fox’s “American Idol,” April 20


Harmony Composer Manilow is Featured Theme and Performer on “American Idol,” April 20-21
By Ernio Hernandez
April 19, 2004

Harmony and pop composer Barry Manilow and his music will be featured on Fox’s “American Idol,” April 20. The singer-songwriter will perform with contestants on April 21.The show airs on the Fox network Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 PM (ET). Check your local listings.

The seven current finalists in the popular making-a-pop-star reality series will each sing a song from the songwriter’s grand oeuvre. After narrowing down thousands of wannabe-singers from auditions across the country, including Hawaii, the audience votes upon who will make it through the next round each week. Music industry folk including singer-choreographer Paula Abdul, producer Randy Jackson and the infamous record exec Simon Cowell — who is known for his honest, at times brutal, critique of the contestants.

It is traditional for the final weeks of the show to shuffle through different genres of music — country, Motown, etc. — testing the young hopefuls on various themes. Guest judges are usually added to the panel to comment on the singers’ performances. The Lion King and Aida composer Elton John appeared on the show, taped while rehearsing the contestants for an evening of his music.

Recording artist and songwriter Manilow collaborated with Bruce Sussman — who penned book and lyrics — on the developing musical Harmony. The work about a singing group in nazi-era Germany was originally staged at La Jolla Playhouse and recently slated for a pre-Broadway run in Philadelphia, but fell apart due to lack of funding.

Manilow, the one-time accompanist to songstress Bette Midler, is known for such pop hits such as “Copacabana,” “I Made It Through The Rain,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Somewhere Down The Road,” “Mandy” and “I Write the Songs.”

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