Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), known professionally as Marilyn Manson, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, visual artist, music video director, and former music journalist. He is known for his controversial stage personality and image as the lead singer of the band of the same name, which he co-founded with guitarist Daisy Berkowitz in 1989 and of which he remains the only constant member. Like the other founding members of the band, his stage name was formed by combining and juxtaposing the names of two opposing American cultural icons: a sex symbol and a serial killer; in Manson's case, actress Marilyn Monroe and criminal Charles Manson.
Manson is best known for music released in the 1990s, most notably the albums Portrait of an American Family (1994), Antichrist Superstar (1996) and Mechanical Animals (1998) which earned him a reputation in mainstream media as a controversial figure and negative influence on young people when combined with his public image. 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 10, including two No. 1 albums. Manson has been ranked at No. 44 on the list of the "Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists" by Hit Parader and, along with his band, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards.
Manson made his film debut as an actor in David Lynch's Lost Highway (1997), and has since appeared in a variety of minor roles and cameos. He was interviewed in Michael Moore's political documentary about gun violence, Bowling for Columbine, discussing possible motivations for the 1999 Columbine massacre, after media speculation that the shooters were avid fans of Manson's music; he denied allegations that his music was a contributory factor. In September 2002, his first art show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions center. At a 2010 exhibition at Kunsthalle gallery in Vienna, he unveiled Genealogies of Pain, a series of 20 paintings on which he collaborated with Lynch.