Born Brian Hugh Warner on January 5, 1969, in Canton, Ohio, Marilyn Manson combined the names of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson for his stage name. Discovered by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson and his eponymously named band created such goth albums as Antichrist Superstar and Smells Like Children, to the joy of troubled teens and to the chagrin of their parents.
Singer, performer. Born Brian Hugh Warner on January 5, 1969, in Canton, Ohio, to father Hugh and mother Barb Warner. Warner had a tough childhood, and was molested several times by a neighbor. The trauma put the young boy on a path of rebellion as he tried to reconcile the incidents with his daily life.
After high school, Warner and his family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for his father's job. There, the young Manson enrolled in a local community college called Broward, where he studied journalism and theater. Warner's first foray into the music business came as an entertainment journalist for a local magazine in Fort Lauderdale. This gave him the opportunity to interview several famous musicians, including Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. During this time as a journalist, Warner formed his own band called Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. Manson has stated that he got the name for his alter ego by combining Marilyn Monroe's first name with Charles Manson's last. Later, the band would change the name simply to Marilyn Manson.
In 1993, Marilyn Manson and his band earned a contract from Trent Reznor's record label, Nothing, based on their local performances and self-released cassettes in the Fort Lauderdale area. The record contract also earned Marilyn Manson and his band a spot on Nine Inch Nails's 1994 tour. Marilyn Manson's first album was titledPortrait of an American Family. The album was produced by Trent Reznor, and gave Manson his first taste of commercial success, as he gained a cult following after its release.
On Smells Like Children, an EP released by Marilyn Manson in 1995, Manson got his first heavy play on MTV with a cover of the Eurythmics 1983 song "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)." Eventually this cover would help Smell Like Children reach platinum. In 1996, Marilyn Manson hit it big with the release of their second album, Antichrist Superstar. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and was co-produced by Trent Reznor.
In 1997, Marilyn Manson co-wrote his autobiography with noted rock journalist Neil Strauss, titled The Long Road Out of Hell. That same year, he also released a second EP, titled Remix & Repent, which reached 102 on the Billboard charts, and made his film debut in David Lynch's Lost Highway. He also appeared in later films, including Jawbreaker (1999), Party Monster (2003) and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004).
Marilyn Manson achieved his greatest success in 1998 with the release of Mechanical Animals. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and helped propel ticket sales to his Last Tour on Earth, which kicked off a year later.
In making Mechanical Animals, Marilyn Manson made a departure from his original sound by adopting a glam rock style and changing album producers. For the album and tour, Manson adopted an alter-ego glam rocker persona named Omega, who was an androgynous space alien.
"Dark" Image and Controversy
Manson's next album came out in 2000 and was titled Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). Manson and his band toured in support of the album in 2001. During this tour, Marilyn Manson was charged with sexual misconduct at a show in Michigan by a security guard for allegedly performing an offensive act. That same tour, he was also hit with a civil suit alleging that Manson rubbed his pelvis on a security guard's head. The misconduct charge was later lowered to a misdemeanor, and the civil suit was dropped.
In 2003, Marilyn Manson and his band released their fifth studio album with The Golden Age of Grotesque. The album spent a week at the top of album charts and was critically acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year. Manson announced the release of his next album, Eat Me, Drink Me in 2005, but it was not released until mid-2007. Like most of the other albums, Manson was a heavy influence in the writing, coordinating and producing of the record. Manson and his former band mate, Twiggy Ramirez, reunited and released band's seventh album, The High End of Low, in 2009.
Throughout Manson's career, he has been accused and vilified for being a Satan worshipper, and for following of the Church of Satan, of which he is a "reverend." His shows have been protested, boycotted and subsequently canceled because of his perceived "dark" views and stage antics.
Manson was once engaged to actress Rose McGowan. Manson married Dita Von Teese in early 2006. They divorced in 2007.