Barry Manilow has scored 50 top-40 singles in his long career, and sold more than 80 million records, but Tuesday, he got an honor from his hometown that's hard to beat: a street in New York City was named after him.
In recognition of his limited Broadway engagement, which will see him performing at the historic St. James Theater through February 23, the New York City Mayor's office renamed West 44th Street -- where the venue is located -- "Manilow Way."
Speaking to reporters ahead of the ceremony, the legendary performer said he was thrilled to be back on Broadway for the first time since 1989. "I know it doesn't sound like anything big to most people but it's really big to a guy from New York," he said. "It's a big event for me and I thought, well, once before I croak, I just want to do it one more time...It's a big honor for me to be here."
The engagement began last weekend, and Manilow says that anyone who comes to see the show over the next month will get the hits and nothing but the hits.
"I'm a very lucky guy that I've got a catalog of hit songs that people know and I'm doing as many of them as I possibly can within the time I'm allotted, and I've never done that," he told reporters. "I usually throw in an album cut or something from the new album. This year, it's one [hit single] after the next, and you should see this audience. They love it!"
When asked to reveal the one artist he'd love to have leap up on stage and join him for a duet one night during his Broadway run, Manilow named Lady Gaga, adding, "I just think she's the real deal: she's a musician, she's a terrific singer. I just love listening to her interviews. She's a good person."
He added, "[She] must have come from a good family because you can't do interviews like that without having a good family raising you...if she jumped up on stage, I think I'd be a happy guy." And out of all his hits, what song would he most like to sing with Gaga? His 1975 top 10 hit "Could It Be Magic" was his choice.
Tickets for the show are now available at ManilowonBroadway.com.
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