Brian Hugh Warner was born and raised in Canton, Ohio, in a seemingly normal middle-class family. At age 18, Warner moved to Tampa Bay, Florida, where he attended Community College and began to write for 25th Parallel, a local music magazine. Warner interviewed a number of local and national bands including My Life With Thrill Kill Kult and Saigon Kick, and eventually decided that he was on the wrong side of the pen.

In 1989 he met Scott Mitchell Putesky, and the two became friends and talked of starting a band. Putesky supplied the musical talent, writing all the songs and playing all the instruments on the bands earliest demos, while Warner screamed into a megaphone or performed rambling spoken-word pieces. Warner came up with the concept of marrying two diametrically opposing archetypes together - the supermodel and the serial killer - and Marilyn Manson was born.

After recording a number of demos on Putesky's Tascam four track, the two recruited Olivia Newton Bundy on bass and Zsa Zsa Speck on keyboards to become a full live band. They played their first show (opening for The Goods) at Churhill's Hideaway in Miami on April 28th, 1990 to a crowd of 20 people. Among the audience was future manager John Tovar who thought the band was terrible.

But from such humble beginnings, the band began to grow. Even Manson's harshest critics have always had to admit he was a master of self-promotion. When other bands were out partying, Manson was at Kinko's at four in the morning printing flyers for the next week's shows. He started a Spooky Kids Hotline, where he encouraged his fans to call and leave deranged messages, and sent out regular newsletters to his growing legion of fans. The gig flyers Manson created for the band's shows were also unforgettable material, mixing childhood images of Dr. Seuss and Scooby Doo with Satanism and drug abuse.

By 1991, the band played a show as the local support act for Nine Inch Nails, who were just starting to take off. Manson gave Nails frontman Trent Reznor a demo tape and the two stayed in contact in the following years. Reznor invited Manson to play guitar in the video for Gave Up off of the Broken EP, and when Reznor started his own Nothing label, he knew who his first new act would be.

By 1994, the band had signed to Nothing/Interscope and flew to Los Angeles to begin working on their debut, originally titled The Manson Family Album, with famed industrial producer Roli Mossiman in the booth. The band and Reznor were less than happy with the orginal mixes of the album, though, and Reznor stepped in to re-produce, re-mix, and re-record serveral of the tracks. Interscope also rejected the album title, and the original artwork which included a childhood picture of Warner, sitting naked on his parents' couch.

But as the band's star began to rise, the original Spooky Kids began to fall apart. The first casualty was bass player Gidget Gein, whose heroin addiction worsened to the point that he couldn't be relied upon to show up for rehearsals or recording sessions any more. After he finished recording his parts for Portrait of an American Family, the band sent him home to Florida and sent him a dismissal letter on Christmas day. Sara Lee Lucas was next to go, after having a falling out with Manson while on tour. When it came time to record their second full length album, Manson and Twiggy were going off in a different direction than Daisy wanted to, and he soon found himself out of the band as well, leaving Manson and Madonna Wayne Gacy the only remaining Spooks in the band.

Antichrist Superstar was a platinum selling success, as was the next album Mechanical Animals. While Holy Wood is considered a favorite by many fans, it didn't meet the same commercial success of past albums, and many fans and critics alike were disappointed by the next release, Golden Age of Grotesque. The forgettable cover of Personal Jesus that was the single off of the greatest-hits albums Lest We Forget has led many to go as far as to question Manson's musical relevance in the current day.

However, Manson remains to be a popular public figure, regularly showing up in the pages of Rolling Stone with finace Dita Von Teese on his arm. He has had several successful showings of his watercolor artwork, and has collarborated with German artist Gottfried Helnwiein for a series of photographs for Golden Age of Grotesque. He has had a number of small acting parts in movies such as Party Monster and The Heart Is Decietful Above All Things that hint that he may have more roles in the future. He also surprised many (who only know him as a shock-rocker) by his insightful and intelligent thoughts on the gun control issue in Bowling For Columbine.