Marilyn Manson Biography: Life and Career of the Antichrist Superstar

Born January 5th, 1969 in Canton, Ohio, Marilyn Manson had a troubled childhood and grew up with an intense dislike towards religion. After some time as a music journalist, he formed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids, which became known for their shock rock lyrics and shows. Manson continued to gain attention after signing to Trent Reznor's label and gained his first taste of fame with a Eurythmics cover. Despite the violent lyrics and graphic performances, his music continues to find chart success while simultaneously being protested by different groups. In this WatchMojo.com video, we take a look at the life and career of Marilyn Manson.
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He’s one of the beautiful people. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re taking a look at the life and career of Marilyn Manson.

Growing Up


Brian Hugh Warner was born January 5th, 1969 in Canton, Ohio. His difficult youth was impacted by the disconnection he felt from his family’s religious background, and the unusual sexual fetishes his grandfather observed.

Music Journalism


After his high school graduation, Warner’s family relocated to Florida, where he studied journalism at a community college and wrote music pieces for a local magazine.

Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids


During this time, Warner assumed the moniker Marilyn Manson by combining the name of starlet Marilyn Monroe with that of murderer Charles Manson. He also formed the band Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids with several musicians. They made a name for themselves in their hometown thanks to local radio support and shocking theatrical stage shows.

Debut


The band soon signed to the label of Nine Inch Nails’ founder Trent Reznor, with whom they later went on the road. Their alternative metal debut Portrait of an American Family dropped in 1994 under the name Marilyn Manson. The ensuing tour attracted much attention: Manson received the title of “Reverend” from the Church of Satan, while the band’s music and performances ignited criticism from religious organizations.

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”


Marilyn Manson’s popularity exploded in 1995: the remix EP Smells Like Children charted within the Billboard 200 top forty and the music video for their Eurythmics cover became an MTV staple.

Antichrist Superstar


However, the band achieved even more success with the first of their concept album trilogy: 1996’s Antichrist Superstar. Despite violent lyrics and imagery, the rock opera reached Billboard’s third position thanks to “The Beautiful People.” The band brought the moody record to life with explicit theatrics via the widely protested “Dead to the World Tour.”

Controversy


Manson and his band continued experimenting through the ‘90s by using drugs, and by testing costumes and musical styles. As their popularity grew, so did the controversy surrounding them. Manson capitalized on this attention by gracing the cover of Rolling Stone and by releasing an autobiography, which included details about the band’s many line-up changes.

Glam Rock


Following an appearance in “Lost Highway,” Manson came out with the glam-rock Mechanical Animals. That concept album bested its predecessor’s performance by topping Billboard and by spawning a Grammy-nominated single.

Columbine Massacre


Despite the band’s mainstream success, the subsequent tour was interrupted by the Columbine High School Shootings in 1999. The media blamed aggressive songs for this tragedy, and specifically singled out Manson for his influence.

Attack on the Media


Manson responded to the charges multiple times: in 2000, he attacked media and American culture on Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), though that industrial metal effort sold much slower than the other discs in his three-part series. Two years later, he addressed the issue again in Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine.”

Chart Success


His efforts did little to dissuade critics, and his reportedly inappropriate behavior also got his name in the news. Musically, he was back at the top of the charts with 2003’s The Golden Age of Grotesque. The industrial disc was followed by the top ten greatest hits compilation Lest We Forget: The Best Of.

More Music


In 2007, the gothic rock album Eat Me, Drink Me reached the Billboard top ten, and its first single was accompanied by a sexually-charged music video. Two years later, the band went back to glam rock on the top five record, The High End of Low.

“Born Villain”


In 2012, Born Villain was unveiled via Cooking Vinyl Records and Manson’s label, Hell etc. Records. The album was promoted by a tour and was preceded by the release of a Shia LaBeouf-directed short film.

Other Interests


Aside from his own music, Manson has collaborated with several artists, both as a musician and as a producer. He also contributed to several soundtracks and made numerous movie appearances.

Personal Life


Manson’s romantic relationships have also received attention, including his links to Rose McGowan, Dita Von Teese and Evan Rachel Wood.

Musical Legacy


Thanks to his dark lyrics, graphic performances and outspoken nature, Marilyn Manson’s career has been steeped in controversy. However, the artist has also achieved success by pushing political, religious and social boundaries. While he may or may not be the Antichrist Superstar, Manson’s music has proved to be hauntingly relevant.
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