Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an American musician, songwriter, actor, painter, singer, rapper, author, composer and former music journalist. He is known for his controversial stage personality and image as the lead singer of the band Marilyn Manson, which he co-founded with Daisy Berkowitz and of which he remains the only constant member. His stage name was formed by juxtaposing the names of two opposing American pop cultural icons; actress Marilyn Monroe and cult leader Charles Manson.

He is best known for his band's records released in the 1990s, most notably Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals, which, along with his public image, earned him a reputation in the mainstream media as a controversial figure and an allegedly negative influence on young people. In the U.S. alone, three of the band's albums have been awarded platinum and three more went gold, and the band has had eight releases debut in the top ten, including two number-one albums. Manson has been ranked number 44 in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader, and has been nominated for four Grammy Awards.

Manson made his film debut in 1997, as an actor in David Lynch's Lost Highway. Since then he has appeared in a variety of minor roles and cameos. He was interviewed in Michael Moore's political documentary Bowling for Columbine, discussing possible motivations for the 1999 Columbine massacre and allegations that his music was somehow a factor. On September 13–14, 2002, his first art show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions center. Manson revealed a series of 20 paintings in 2010 entitled Genealogies of Pain, an exhibition showcased at Vienna's Kunsthalle gallery, which the artist collaborated on with David Lynch.

Early life and education

Manson was born in Canton, Ohio. He is the only son of Barbara Jo (née Wyer) and Hugh Angus Warner. Manson is of German and English descent. In an August 12, 2015 interview, Manson claimed that his Appalachian family also has "Sioux" heritage. In his autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, he detailed his grandfather's sexual fetishes, including bestiality and sadomasochism.

As a child, he attended his mother's Episcopal church, though his father was a Catholic. Warner attended Heritage Christian School from first grade to tenth grade. In that school, they tried to show children what music they were not supposed to listen to; Warner then fell in love with "what he wasn't supposed to do." He later transferred to GlenOak High School and graduated from there in 1987. After relocating with his parents, he became a student at Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1990. He was working towards a degree in journalism and gaining experience in the field by writing articles for a music magazine, 25th Parallel.

He soon met several of the musicians to whom his own band were later compared, including My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, The Perfect, and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.



Manson and guitarist Scott Putesky formed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids following conversations at the Reunion Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1989. The name was later shortened to Marilyn Manson. While with The Spooky Kids, Manson 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 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 on the Downward Spiral Tour that featured Nine Inch Nails and Jim Rose Circus along 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 U.S. alone, three of the band's albums have been awarded two platinum and three more went gold, and the band has had seven 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 produced 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 1992–1996, 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". Manson released his eighth studio album, Born Villain, in May 2012.

On November 10, 2014, Manson posted via his official Facebook page that his ninth studio album, The Pale Emperor, would be released on January 20, 2015.

On August 15, 2015, Manson had New Orleans brass ensemble the Soul Rebels perform "Beautiful People" with him live in Japan at the Summer Sonic Music Festival.

Shooter Jennings' album "Countach (For Giorgio)" features Manson performing guest vocals on a cover of David Bowie's "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)". The album was released on February 26, 2016.

Film and television

Manson made his film debut in 1997, as an actor in David Lynch's Lost Highway. Since then he has appeared in a variety of minor roles and cameos, including Party Monster; then-girlfriend Rose McGowan's 1999 film Jawbreaker; Asia Argento's 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Rise; The Hire: Beat The Devil, the sixth installment in the BMW films series; and Showtime's comedy-drama TV series Californication in 2013, in which Manson portrayed himself. He also appeared on HBO's Eastbound & Down, of which Manson is reportedly a longtime fan, and had lobbied to appear on for years; and ABC's Once Upon a Time, for which he will provide the voice of the character "Shadow".

He was interviewed in Michael Moore's political documentary Bowling for Columbine discussing possible motivations for the Columbine massacre and allegations that his music was somehow a factor. He has appeared in animated form in Clone High and participated in several episodes of the MTV series Celebrity Deathmatch, becoming the show's unofficial champion and mascot; he often performed the voice for his claymated puppet, and contributed the song "Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes" to the soundtrack album. In July 2005, Manson told Rolling Stone that he was shifting his focus from music to filmmaking – "I just don't think the world is worth putting music into right now. I no longer want to make art that other people – particularly record companies – are turning into a product. I just want to make art."

Johnny Depp reportedly used Manson as his inspiration for his performance as Willy Wonka in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Manson himself expressed interest in playing the role of Willy Wonka in the film.

He had been working on his directorial debut, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, a project that has been in development hell since 2004, with Manson also set to portray the role of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Initially announced as a web-only release, it was later decided to give the estimated $4.2 million budget film a conventional cinema release, with a slated release date of mid-2007. The film was to have an original music soundtrack with previously unreleased songs. Production of the film had been postponed indefinitely until after the Eat Me, Drink Me tour. In 2010, studio bosses shut down production on the project, reportedly due to viewers' responses to the violent content of clips released on the internet. The film was later officially put on "indefinite production hold". However, according to an interview with co-writer Anthony Silva about the hold, the film was still on and the talk of it being shut down was just a myth. In a June 2013 interview, Manson stated that he had "resurrected" the project, and that Roger Avary would direct it. In a separate interview during the previous year, he said a small crew similar to what he used for his Slo-Mo-Tion music video would be used, and would rather film the movie on an iPhone than not film it at all.

Manson appeared in the final season of the TV series Sons of Anarchy portraying Ron Tully, a white supremacist. In January 2016, it was announced that Manson would be joining the cast for season 3 of WGN's Salem. Manson will play Thomas Dinley, "the go-to man in Salem, from a shave and a haircut to being leeched, bled, sliced open or sewn up".


Manson stated in a 2004 interview with i-D magazine to have begun his career as a watercolor painter in 1999 when he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers. On September 13–14, 2002, his first show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Centre. Art in America's Max Henry likened them to the works of a "psychiatric patient given materials to use as therapy" and said his work would never be taken seriously in a fine art context, writing that the value was "in their celebrity, not the work". On September 14–15, 2004, Manson held a second exhibition on the first night in Paris and the second in Berlin. The show was named 'Trismegistus' which was also the title of the center piece of the exhibit – a large, three-headed Christ painted onto an antique wood panel from a portable embalmers table.

Manson named his self-proclaimed art movement Celebritarian Corporation. He has coined a slogan for the movement: “We will sell our shadow to those who stand within it.” In 2005 he said that the Celebritarian Corporation has been "incubating for seven years" which if correct would indicate that Celebritarian Corporation, in some form, started in 1998.

Celebritarian Corporation is also the namesake of an art gallery owned by Manson, called the Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art in Los Angeles for which his third exhibition was the inaugural show. From April 2–17, 2007, his recent works were on show at the Space 39 Modern & Contemporary art gallery in Fort Myers, Florida. Forty pieces from this show traveled to Germany's Gallery Brigitte Schenk in Cologne to be publicly exhibited from June 28 – July 28, 2007. Manson was refused admittance to Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), when he was in the city to attend the opening night. This was, according to Manson, because of his makeup.

Manson revealed a series of 20 paintings in 2010 entitled Genealogies of Pain, an exhibition showcased at Vienna's Kunsthalle gallery which the artist collaborated on with David Lynch.

Video games

Manson has made an appearance in the video game Area 51 as Edgar, a Grey alien. His song "Cruci-Fiction in Space" is featured in a commercial for a video game, The Darkness. His likeness is also featured on the Celebrity Deathmatch video game for which he recorded a song for the soundtrack (2003). The song "Use Your Fist and Not Your Mouth" was the credits score of the game Cold Fear as well as Spawn: Armageddon. The song "Four Rusted Horses" had an alternate version used in trailers for the video game Fear 3. A remix of the song "Tainted Love" appears in the debut trailer for the game, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and in the launch trailer of Twisted Metal. Manson's song "The Beautiful People" was featured in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, KickBeat and Brütal Legend. The song "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon" is also featured in Saints Row: The Third. His music video to the song "Personal Jesus" was used in some parts of the Buzz! game series.

Other ventures

Manson launched "Mansinthe", his own brand of Swiss-made absinthe, which has received mixed reviews; some critics described the taste as being "just plain", but it came second to Versinthe in an Absinthe top five and won a gold medal at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Other reviewers, such as critics at The Wormwood Society, have given the absinthe moderately high praise.

In 2015, Manson stated he was no longer drinking absinthe.

An energy drink called "Eat Me, Drink Me" was also produced for a limited time, inspired by Marilyn Manson's album of the same name.

Personal life

Manson was engaged to actress Rose McGowan from February 1998 to January 2001. McGowan later ended their engagement over "lifestyle differences".

Manson and Dita Von Teese first met when he asked her to dance in one of his music videos. Though she was unable to, the two kept in contact. On his 32nd birthday, in 2001, she arrived with a bottle of absinthe and they became a couple. Manson proposed on March 22, 2004 and gave her a 1930s 7-carat European round-cut diamond engagement ring. On November 28, 2005, Manson and von Teese were married in a private, non-denominational ceremony in their home. A larger ceremony was held on December 3, at Gurteen Castle, in Kilsheelan, County Tipperary, Ireland, the home of their friend, Gottfried Helnwein. The wedding was officiated by the Chilean surrealist film director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky. On December 30, 2006, Von Teese filed for divorce due to "irreconcilable differences." and People claimed that Manson was having an extramarital affair with then 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood, who was featured in the video for his 2007 single, "Heart-Shaped Glasses." The relationship was confirmed by Von Teese in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph: "I wasn't supportive about his partying or his relationship with another girl, and as much as I loved him I wasn't going to be part of that." Manson's alcohol abuse and distant behavior were also cited as cause for the split. A judgment of divorce was entered in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 27, 2007.

In 2007, attention was brought to Manson's love life again when a relationship with Evan Rachel Wood was made public. Manson and Wood reportedly maintained an on-again off-again relationship for several years. Manson proposed to Wood during a Paris stage performance in January 2010, but the couple broke off the engagement later that year.

In the March 2012 issue of Revolver magazine, American photographer Lindsay Usich was referred to as Manson's girlfriend. The article referenced a new painting by Manson featuring Usich. She is credited as the photo source for the cover art of Manson's 2012 album, Born Villain. It was later confirmed that the two were romantically involved. In February 2015, Manson told Beat magazine that he is "newly single".

Religious beliefs

Manson is a self-identified fan of Anton Lavey, an honorary priest in the Church of Satan and also an advocate of the writings of Aleister Crowley and Friedrich Nietzsche saying "I also like Nietzsche and Crowley," and quoting Crowley throughout his autobiography including the Thelemic anthem, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Crowley's esoteric subject matter forms an important leitmotif in much of Manson's early work. He has been described as "the highest profile Satanist ever" with strong anti-Christianity views and social Darwinist leanings.


The name Marilyn Manson was formed by juxtaposing the names of two opposing American pop cultural iconsMarilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Monroe, an actress, was one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and continues to be a major icon over 50 years after. Manson, a cult leader, was responsible for the murder of actress Sharon Tate, as well as several others. He is currently serving a life sentence on murder and conspiracy charges.

Manson has mentioned on at least two occasions that "Marilyn Manson" is actually a trademark, not a stage name. In an interview at the 2015 Cannes Lions Festival, he said "I trademarked the name "Marilyn Manson" the same way as Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse [sic]. It's not a stage name. It's not my legal name ... Marilyn Manson is owned by Brian Warner, my real name." Warner also mentioned this in a 2013 interview with Larry King. In both interviews, Manson reports using these trademark registrations in order to secure a cease and desist order to silence media who were wrongly blaming him for the Columbine High School massacre after one journalist erroneously reported that the shooters were “wearing Marilyn Manson makeup and T-Shirts.” Although the reports were soon debunked, Manson stated, "once the wheels started spinning, Fox News started going."

The records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office show that Warner registered four trademarks of "Marilyn Manson" between 1994 and 1999, protecting "entertainment services", merchandising, and branding.


In September 1996, former bassist Gidget Gein negotiated a settlement with Manson where he would receive US$17,500 in cash, 20 percent of any royalties paid for recordings and for any songs he had a hand in writing and his share of any other royalties or fees the group earned while he was a member. Furthermore, the settlement allowed him to market himself as a former member of Marilyn Manson. This settlement was not honored, however.

Former guitarist and founding member Scott Putesky (a.k.a. Daisy Berkowitz) filed a $15 million lawsuit in a Fort Lauderdale court against the singer, the band and the band's attorney (David Codikow) in January 1998 after his forcible departure from the group in the spring of 1996. Berkowitz claimed he was cheated by the band out of "thousands of dollars in royalties, publishing rights, and performance fees." He also filed an attorney malpractice suit against Codikow, alleging that "Codikow represented Warner's interests more than the band's and that he gave Warner disproportionate control over the band's name, recordings, merchandising, and touring proceeds." By October of that year, the suit had been settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

On November 30, 1998, a few days after the band accumulated "[a] total [of] more than $25,000" in backstage and hotel room damages during the Poughkeepsie, New York stop of their Mechanical Animals Tour, SPIN editor Craig Marks filed a $24 million lawsuit against Manson and his bodyguards for allegedly assaulting his person and threatening to kill his family. According to Marks' interview with the New York Post, the issue stemmed from Manson's displeasure with the magazine's decision to renege on a promised cover story of the band for their January 1999 cover. According to Marks, the last-minute change was made because Manson's record wasn't "performing." The Post described the editor as "bruised and battered." Manson for his part issued a statement saying, "I had a conversation with Craig Marks expressing I was tired of Spin's immature business behavior and the series of deals they had broken with me. I told him that I didn't care what he prints or whether or not I'm on the cover. I simply no longer wanted to work with him or his magazine that obviously has a lack of respect for musicians and their fans."

On February 19, 1999, Manson counter-sued Marks for libel, slander and defamation. The singer was seeking US$40 million in reparation, claiming that Marks' statements were false and "were made … with actual malice, hatred and personal ill will." According to the counter-suit, Marks' allegations have "greatly damaged and injured [Manson's] reputation and standing in the music profession, in the music and entertainment industries, in his community and in the general public, and [he] has been subjected to great shame, humiliation and indignity." As for the Poughkeepsie incident, Manson apologized and offered to make financial restitution.

In a civil battery suit, David Diaz, a security officer from a concert in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 27, 2000, sued for US$75,000 in a Minneapolis federal court. The federal court jury found in Manson's favor.

In a civil suit presented by Oakland County, Michigan, Manson was charged with sexual misconduct against another security officer, Joshua Keasler, during a concert in Clarkston, Michigan, on July 30, 2001. Oakland County originally filed assault and battery and criminal sexual misconduct charges, but the judge reduced the latter charge to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Manson pleaded no contest to the reduced charges, paid a US$4,000 fine, and later settled the lawsuit under undisclosed terms.

On April 3, 2002, Maria St. John filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Manson of providing her adult daughter, Jennifer Syme, with cocaine and instructing her to drive while under the influence. After attending a party at Manson's house, Syme was given a lift home; Manson claims she was taken home by a designated driver. After she got home she got behind the wheel of her own vehicle and was killed when she crashed it into three parked cars. Manson is reported to have said there were no alcohol or other drugs at the party. St. John's lawyer asked "[if] there were no drinks, no drugs, why would she need a designated driver?" The suit alleged Syme was returning to the party at Manson's request. The case was dismissed on May 29, 2003.

On August 2, 2007, former band member Stephen Bier filed a lawsuit against Manson for unpaid "partnership proceeds," seeking $20 million in back pay. Several details from the lawsuit leaked to the press. In November 2007, additional papers were filed saying that Manson purchased a child's skeleton and masks made of human skin. He also allegedly bought stuffed animals, such as a grizzly bear and two baboons and a collection of Nazi memorabilia. In December 2007, Manson countersued, claiming that Bier failed to fulfill his duties as a bandmember to play for recordings and to promote the band. On December 28, 2009, the suit was settled with an agreement which saw Bier's attorneys being paid a total of $380,000, of which Manson's insurance company paid $175,000, while the remainder was paid by Bier's former business managers, according to Manson's lawyer Howard King.


Special features


  • 1996-1997 Dead to the World Tour: Began October 3, 1996 in Kalamazoo, MI and ended on September 16, 1997 in Mexico City, Mexico. Supporting acts included: NY Loose, Fluffy, Drill, Hocico, L7, Rasputina, Pist.on, and Helmet.
  • 1998-1999 Mechanical Animals Tour: Opened up October 25, 1998 in Lawrence, KS and finished January 31, 1999 in Perth, Australia. Manson experienced major protest from legislation during this time.
  • 1999 Support for Hole's Beautiful Monsters Tour: Started February 28 in Spokane, WA and ended March 14 in Los Angeles, CA.
  • 1999 Rock Is Dead Tour: Started March 21 in Houston, TX and ended on August 8 in Fuji-Yoshida, Japan. Supporting acts included: Hole, Jack Off Jill, Monster Magnet, and Nashville Pussy. The last 5 shows had to be cancelled due to the Columbine incident's backlash.
  • 2000-2001 Guns, God and Government Tour: Began on October 27, 2000 in Minneapolis, MN until September 2, 2001 in Hildesheim, Germany. Supporting acts included: Godhead, The Union Underground, Disturbed, and Professional Murder Music.
  • 2003 Grotesk Burlesk Tour: Began March 29 in Lisbon, Portugal and ended on December 27 in Auburn Hills, MI. Supporting acts included: Apocalyptica, Mudvayne, Peaches, and Queen Adreena.
  • 2004-2005 Against All Gods Tour: Started October 27, 2004 in Las Vegas, NV and ended in Dublin, Ireland on August 31, 2005.
  • 2007-2008 Rape of the World Tour: Opened May 26, 2007 in Landgraaf, Netherlands and finished March 2, 2008 in Houston, TX.
  • 2009 The High End of Low Tour: Started June 3 in Brno, Czech Republic and ended December 21 in Paris, France.
  • 2012-2013 Hey, Cruel World... Tour and Twins of Evil Tour: Began in Brisbane, Australia on February 24, 2012 and wrapped up in Las Vegas, NV on February 23, 2013.
  • 2013 Masters of Madness Tour: Duration was from May 29 in San Antonio, CA to July 21 in Rockford, IL. Supporting act included Alice Cooper.
  • 2013 Marilyn Manson 2013 North American Tour: The tour started in Milwaukee, WI and wrapped up in Las Vegas, NV. Alice Cooper performed alongside Marilyn Manson during the majority of this tour.
  • 2014 Summer 2014 Tour 2014/06/27 Moscow, Russia - 2014/08/14 Gampel-Bratsch, Switzerland.
  • 2015 Hell Not Hallelujah Spring Tour: The tour began in Washington, DC on January 21 and wrapped up in Las Vegas, NV on February 14.
  • 2015 Co-Headlining North American 2015 End Times Tour With The Smashing Pumpkins: The tour began in Concord, CA at the Concord Pavilion on July 7 & wrapped with a concert in Cincinnati, OH at the Riverbend Music Center on August 8.
  • 2015 Hell Not Hallelujah Fall Tour: The tour started in Santa Ana, CA on October 20 and ended in Shreveport, LA on November 1.
  • 2016 Slipknot / Marilyn Manson / Of Mice & Men 2016 Summer Tour: The tour begins in Salt Lake City, Utah and ends off in St.Louis, Missouri.

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards
YearNominated workAwardResult
1999"The Dope Show"Best Hard Rock PerformanceNominated
2001"Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes"Best Metal PerformanceNominated
2004"mOBSCENE"Best Metal PerformanceNominated
2013"No Reflection"Best Hard Rock/Metal PerformanceNominated
'MTV Video Music Awards
YearNominated workAwardResult
1996"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"Best Hard Rock VideoNominated
1997"The Beautiful People"Best Hard Rock VideoNominated
Best Special Effects in a VideoNominated
Best Art Direction in a VideoNominated
1999"The Dope Show"Best Cinematography in a VideoWon
Metal Edge Readers' Choice Awards
1997"Long Hard Road Out of Hell"Best Song From a Movie Soundtrack
1999Marilyn MansonLive Performer of the Year
1998God Is in the TVHome Video of the Year
2000Marilyn MansonMale Performer of the Year
Kerrang Awards
2015Marilyn MansonLifetime achievement awardWon