After performing 1,000 shows in Las Vegas, Barry Manilow decided that wasn't the only place he wanted to play.
We'll all wait while you Fanilows rejoice.
OK, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about Manilow's upcoming show.
The king of the lounge singers kicks off his current tour on Wednesday in Omaha. It was originally supposed to begin earlier, but Manilow has been recovering from hip surgery and he postponed most of his February concerts.
"That's what you get when you jump around to 'Copacabana' for 30 years!" Manilow said in a statement.
It's not the first time the 68-year-old "Mandy" singer has had hip problems. He had surgery in 2006 to repair torn cartilage. This time, surgery repaired torn abductor muscles.
"The 2 hour procedure turned out to take 7 hours!" he wrote in a letter to fans. "The muscles had snapped away from both hips. They had to pull them back like pulling down a window shade and pin them back to my hips."
Manilow has been able to rehearse, and he expects the show to be one of his best.
"We've got a beautiful, brand-new show ready to go," Manilow said. "We rehearsed for three weeks — me on my walker and in my wheelchair and my wonderful band, crew, lights, sound and nurses."
Manilow's latest release, "15 Minutes," is his first original album in years. The title comes from Andy Warhol's famous quote about fame, and the album mostly deals with the subject.
"I hear some of these young people saying 'I want to be famous,' and I clench up. You need to do what you believe in. Do it because you can't not do it," Manilow told Spinner.com. "If you do it for money, applause, or to be famous, that's dangerous. If you do it because you can't not, whatever your field, you have a better chance of having a happy life."
It's mostly a guitar-driven sound, which is different for Manilow, who got his start playing piano for singers such as Bette Midler.
Though Manilow has had plenty of experience with fame, he said he didn't write the album with himself at the center. Not at first, anyway.
"We were really writing about our fictional character, but halfway through, I actually found myself in every song," he said. "I'd been through every experience in every song."
1. A portmanteau of “fan” and “Manilow.”
2. A massive Barry Manilow fan.
If a Fanilow gets sick, he or she may receive hundreds of get well cards from fellow Fanilows. It's a close-knit network. Many people become Fanilows because of their own families. As many know, growing up listening to a certain artist can make that person ingrained in your musical DNA. But there's something about Manilow in particular.
“I found him on my own and then found out my mom was a fan, too,” said Allison Gregg.
Growing up, she listened to “Daybreak” and “Copacabana,” but didn't know it was Manilow who sang them until talking to her mom. Gregg loves the singer and plans on going to his show in Omaha.
“My mom probably has tickets already,” she said.
Lisa Maxson is going with her entire family, including her parents, brothers and sister. But not in-laws.
“Not that they wanted to go,” Maxson said.
Apparently marrying into a Manilow-loving family doesn't mean you instantly begin to love him.
You can even become an official Fanilow by joining the Barry Manilow International Fan Club. For $9.99 per year, you get a membership kit, the “Barry Gram” newsletter and early access to concert tickets.
The Old Songs
“Mandy” — “I never realized/How happy you made me, oh Mandy”
One of Manilow's most recognizable tunes, Manilow didn't actually write this one. Scott English and Richard Kerr wrote it as “Brandy” and it was a hit for English in the U.K. Manilow changed it to “Mandy” and it became his first No. 1 hit.
“Copacabana (At the Copa)” — “Her name was Lola/She was a showgirl” This tune — about a showgirl, her lover and a mob boss — peaked at No. 8 on the charts and earned Manilow his first and only Grammy Award.
"Could It Be Magic” — “Could it be magic, come/come on, come on, come, oh come into my arms”
This piano ballad was one of Manilow's first big hits, though many know the disco version that Donna Summer made popular in 1976.
“Can't Smile Without You” — “I can't smile without you/I can't laugh and I can't sing/I'm finding it hard to do anything” The Carpenters released this song with different lyrics before Manilow did his version in 1977. Jerry Lewis often sang the song on his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon and the Tottenham Hotspur soccer team uses it as an unofficial slogan.
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