Marilyn Manson (born January 5, 1969), born as Brian Hugh Warner, is an American musician and artist known for his controversial stage persona and image as the lead singer of the eponymous band. His stage name was formed from the names of actress Marilyn Monroe and convicted murderer Charles Manson. His long legacy as being depicted in the media as a bad influence on children, along with his seemingly outrageous styles for which he models, and the controversy surrounding his lyrics all have led to his more pronounced public appeal.
Marilyn Manson was born as Brian Hugh Warner in Canton, Ohio, the son of Barb Wyer and Hugh Jack Warner. His father was a Roman Catholic and his mother was an Episcopalian. According to his autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, Manson is of German and Polish descent on his father's side. He was raised in his mother's religion, attending Heritage Christian School from first grade to tenth grade. He later transferred to Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Manson graduated from high school in 1987, and became a student at Broward Community College in 1990. He was working towards a degree in journalism, and was gaining experience in the field by writing music articles for a South Florida lifestyle magazine, 25th Parallel. He would soon meet several of the musicians to whom his own band would later be compared, including: My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
Manson formed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids in Florida in 1989 (the name was shortened to Marilyn Manson in 1992). While with The Spooky Kids, he 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 the summer of 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 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.