Marilyn Manson is a rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Advocates of nonconformity, and often utilising controversial imagery & lyrical content, the band is commonly described as shock rock. It is difficult to categorise the band, as it displays influences from many genres of hard rock, including industrial, heavy metal & glam rock. Each album thus far has had a distinct and individual sound, and the band & frontman endeavour to devise & use a unique image & aesthetic for each album's era . The band was formed in 1989 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as "Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids". The band's uniquely theatrical performances gathered a local cult following that subsequently developed into a worldwide fanbase.
Marilyn Manson's reputation has likewise grown, with the band now considered one of modern music's most widely-known and most controversial; this has been due, in large part, to eponymous lead singer Marilyn Manson — born Brian Warner — and his frequent clashes with religious and political figures. The name of each band member was originally created by combining the first name of an iconic female sex symbol and the last name of an iconic mass murderer or serial killer. In recent years, new members of the band have strayed away from this formula and used their own names. The members of the band dress in outlandish makeup and costumes, and have engaged in intentionally shocking behavior both onstage and off. Their lyrics often receive criticism for their anti-religious sentiment and their references to sex, drugs, and violence. Marilyn Manson's music and performances have frequently been called offensive and obscene, and, more than a few times, protests and petitions have led to the group being banned from performing.
As this controversy began to wane, so did the band's mainstream popularity. Despite this, its many devoted fans have made Marilyn Manson a consistently high-profile group: three of the band's albums have been awarded platinum certification and three more have been awarded gold, and the band has seen three of its releases debut in the top ten, including two number-one albums. In June 2003, Jon Wiederhorn of MTV.com referred to Marilyn Manson as "the only true artist today".