Marilyn Manson (born Brian Hugh Warner on January 5, 1969) is an American musician, artist and former music journalist known for his controversial stage persona and image as the lead singer of the eponymous band Marilyn Manson. His stage name was formed from juxtaposing the names of two 1960s American cultural icons, namely actress Marilyn Monroe and convicted multiple murder mastermind Charles Manson as a critical and, simultaneously, laudatory appraisal of America and its peculiar culture. He has a long legacy of being depicted in the media as a detrimental influence on young people. The seemingly outrageous styles for which he models and the controversy surrounding his lyrics have led to his public appeal.
Manson formed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids in Florida in 1989 (the name was shortened to Marilyn Manson in 1992). While with The Spooky Kids, he was involved with Jeordie White (also known as Twiggy Ramirez) and Stephen Gregory Bier Jr. (also known as Madonna Wayne Gacy) in two side-projects: Satan on Fire, a faux-Christian metal ensemble where he played bass guitar, and drums in Mrs. Scabtree, a collaborative band formed with White and then girlfriend Jessicka (vocalist with the band Jack Off Jill) as a way to combat contractual agreements that prohibited Marilyn Manson from playing in certain clubs. In the summer of 1993, the band drew the attention of Trent Reznor. Reznor produced their 1994 debut album, Portrait of an American Family and released it on his Nothing Records label. The band began to develop a cult following, which grew larger with the release of Smells Like Children in 1995. That EP yielded the band's first big MTV hit with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," a cover of the 1983 Eurythmics hit. Antichrist Superstar (co-produced by Trent Reznor) was an even greater success.
In the US alone, three of the band's albums have been awarded platinum certification, three more gold, and the band has had five releases debut in the top ten, including two number-one albums. Manson first worked as a producer with the band Jack Off Jill. He helped name the band and produce most of the band's early recordings, and also played guitar on the song "My Cat" and had the band open most of his South Florida shows. Manson later wrote the liner notes to the band's album Humid Teenage Mediocrity 1992-1995, a collection of early Jack Off Jill recordings. Manson has appeared as a guest performer on DMX's album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood and on Godhead's 2000 Years of Human Error album — the only album released on his vanity label Posthuman. In 2011 it was revealed that Manson was to appear on the singer Skylar Grey's album "Invinsible" on the track entitled "Can't Haunt Me".
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