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Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson says his career was “shut down” following the Columbine massacre.

Some news outlets falsely claimed that killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were inspired by Manson’s music before they murdered 12 students and one teacher when they opened fire in Columbine High School, Colorado, in April 1999.

The shootings, which also left 21 people injured, sparked debate over gun control laws in the US – and Manson reports that after the slaughter, live venues simply closed the door on him.

Speaking at Grey’s annual music seminar in Cannes, France, Manson says: “With Columbine, it really shut down my career entirely, to the point where casinos refused to book my shows.

“It’s almost unprecedented. Not only did I not do anything, they were not fans of mine. I sat and watched it live on TV and they said initially they were wearing Marilyn Manson make-up and t-shirts. You find out later that they weren’t.”

Despite the fact there was no connection between Manson’s music and the pair, some media outlets continued to demonise him.

He recalls: “I put a cease and desist on all of the press and I didn’t do any interviews for Columbine because I thought it would give them exactly what it did – it put the two that did the crime on the cover of Time magazine. I’ve never been on the cover of Time magazine and that was the whole point.”

Manson released his ninth studio album The Pale Emperor this year but he says he now has questions about his future.

He adds: “I wonder sometimes if I’ve outgrown my spotlight. Someone asked me a long time ago, ‘Are you worried your image will overshadow your music?’ No, I’m worried my music will overshadow my image.”