Fame is something Manilow knows, and it's something he's thought a lot about.
The world, he pointed out, has always been interested in famous and successful people, but, thanks to the miracle of the Internet, the ability to provide fresh water-cooler chatter and gossip about public figures has been ratcheted up. It's not that the demand is so much greater, it's that the means to disseminate is so much greater.
Likewise, it seems easier to become famous. Reality television, viral videos and blogs are just a few new ways to attract attention, to become in some way a star.
Manilow doesn't think fame for fame's sake is all that great.
"I hear all these kids," he said. "You ask them what they want to be when they grow up. And they say, 'famous,' and my heart just sinks.
"You can be famous if you jump off the roof. The answer should be, you want to be a great singer, a great composer, a great actor. But, wow, just to want to be famous? That's asking for trouble."
As far as his own fame, Manilow is pretty comfortable with it. His focus is the work, his music and the here and now. After "15 Minutes" and the current tour, Manilow isn't sure what he'll be doing next. He might revisit his old jazz project "2:00 AM Paradise Cafe," come up with a second volume, but he might do a dozen other things.
Right now, he's sticking with the show he's doing.
"The crowds are pretty great," he said. "I expect the whole thing to go away every year, but they're still there."
He said he was hoping to find a crowd in Huntington. It's been a while since he played West Virginia. He was last here in 1994; before that, Manilow played Charleston in November 1985, right after the terrible floods that killed dozens and displaced thousands.
At the time, Manilow said he couldn't take money for his show and ended up donating $25,000 for flood relief.
He said he remembered that show.
"It was a great audience," he said. "Great reviews, which was surprising. I was getting bad reviews then, but the people were just great. I hope they're still around."
Want to go?
WHAT: Barry Manilow in concert
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington
TICKETS: $34.99, $54.99, $74.99 and $124.99
INFO: 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.