Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), known professionally as Marilyn Manson, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, actor, painter, author, 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 guitarist Daisy Berkowitz and of which he remains the only constant member. Like other members of the band, his stage name was formed by combining and juxtaposing the names of two American pop cultural icons of the 1960s: actress Marilyn Monroe and criminal Charles Manson.
Manson is best known for records released in the 1990s, most notably Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals, which (along with his public image) earned him a reputation in mainstream media as a controversial figure and negative influence on young people. In the U.S. alone, three of the band's albums have been awarded platinum status 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; he denied allegations that his music was a contributory factor. From September 13 to 14, 2002, his first art show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions center. He revealed a series of 20 paintings in 2010 entitled Genealogies of Pain, an exhibition showcased at Kunsthalle gallery in Vienna, on which he collaborated with Lynch.