A Very Barry Christmas: Barry Manilow Reflects On Holiday Magic And ‘Fanilow’ Evolution


Barry Manilow, the iconic singer who turned 80 this year, is proving that age is just a number. Despite reaching this milestone, he remains as busy and booked as ever. Tonight, on December 11, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, NBC will broadcast “Barry Manilow’s A Very Barry Christmas.”


Filmed Extravaganza at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

"Barry Manilow shares the magic of his 'A Very Barry Christmas' TV special and a changing perspective on being a 'Fanilow.' Dive into the holiday spirit and timeless melodies."

The special was recorded about five weeks ago at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the venue for his long-running show, “Manilow: Las Vegas – The Hits Come Home!” The TV event blends holiday classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Feliz Navidad” with Manilow’s chart-topping hits such as “Mandy” and “Copacabana.” Matt Askew, the director of Adele’s “Weekends With Adele,” directed the festive special.

A Manilow Christmas Tradition

“A Very Barry Christmas” marks Manilow’s third Christmas-themed TV special, adding to his extensive collection of three Christmas albums. Despite plans for another Christmas album this year, Manilow explained, “This year was like the craziest year ever.”


TV Virtuoso: A Career Highlighted by Emmy Wins

Manilow’s TV presence is as notable as his musical achievements. He won a Primetime Emmy in 1977 for his first special, “The Barry Manilow Special,” and another in 2006 for “Manilow: Music and Passion.” His ability to leverage television effectively has set him apart in the music industry.

From Carnegie Hall to Broadway: A Year of Triumphs

In 2023, Manilow received honors from the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, played five consecutive nights at Radio City Music Hall, and witnessed the opening of “Harmony,” the Broadway musical he co-wrote with Bruce Sussman.


A Very Personal Christmas Show

Manilow shared insights into the creation of the NBC Christmas special, revealing that NBC executives approached him after witnessing his regular show at the Westgate. With everyone on strike and a need for Christmas content, Manilow’s Christmas show became a perfect fit.

The Evolution of ‘Fanilow’

In a candid interview, Manilow discussed the origin of the term “Fanilow,” which emerged during his 2003 appearance on “Will & Grace.” Initially hesitant about the term, he admitted, “I thought it was kind of a put-down.” However, over time, he embraced it as fans proudly identified themselves as “Fanilows.”

Looking Ahead: The Manilow Legacy

Reflecting on his enduring career, Manilow remains humble about potential honors, saying, “No, they’ve never called and asked, and I don’t think they ever will.” Yet, he acknowledges the significance, stating, “It would be pretty close to the top of the line to get an honor like that.”

As Barry Manilow continues to captivate audiences with his timeless music and charismatic presence, “A Very Barry Christmas” serves as a testament to his enduring legacy in both music and television.

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