Growing up with a tough upbringing, music was Manilow’s only solace. At the age of seven he learned to play the accordion and the piano, and after sampling a taste of the music world, he decided he wanted to be in it. By the year of his barmitzvah he was singing.
Manilow, who grew up in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, started his career by writing the entire original score of a musical adaption of The Drunkard â€“ even though he was only asked to arrange songs. The musical ran for eight years at an off-Broadway venue.
It was his friendship with Bette Midler that really sent him on the path to stardom, when she hired him as her pianist and musical director. He seized the opportunity to showcase his music at one of her shows in 1972, was scouted and offered a record deal.
After a few false starts, he reluctantly recorded the pop tune Mandy in 1974. The song became a number one hit.
It is still one of his best known records, closely followed by Could It Be Magic and Copacabana.
Now, at 67, he has released several greatest songs albums and is still making music.