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Barry Manilow:
"I've always wanted to marry Elton John"

Barry Manilow:
"I've always wanted to marry Elton John"

Barry Manilow had a confession to make at the October 10 Society of Singers' annual Ella Awards. "I've always wanted to marry Elton John," he announced to the crowd as he paid tribute to the evening's honoree. The event, held at Los Angeles's Beverly Hilton, raised money for the SOS, which provides emergency funds for singers in need. According to SOS president Jerry Sharell, the evening broke an SOS fund-raising record previously set in 1990, when Frank Sinatra was honored.

John was visibly moved by many artists' renditions of some of his and Bernie Taupin's compositions, including Smokey Robinson's soul-drenched "Tiny Dancer"; k.d. lang's stripped-down, sublime version of "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"; and Michael McDonald's muscular cover of "Take Me to the Pilot." In his acceptance speech, John recalled a youth spent listening to such singers as Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald (for whom the awards are named), Sarah Vaughan, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby. But he admitted that he would have to turn down Manilow's proposal: "I couldn't have married you, Barry. There would have been too much fuss in front of the mirror." (Reuters)

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