Marilyn Manson's career was somewhat fledgeling in the late 90s and the early 2000s, and he thinks he knows why: Columbine.
While speaking to The Guardian, the singer said he received death threats after students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire in their Littleton, Colorado, high school, killing 12 students and one teacher. Many felt the shooters were inspired by Marilyn and his music — it later turned out that they weren't necessarily fans of his music. False reports even claimed that the killers were wearing Marilyn Manson t-shirts.
"Honestly, the Columbine era destroyed my entire career at the time," he said. "Give them the money and let them make their own choice: guns or records. If [the Columbine killers] had just bought my records, they would be better off. Certain people blame me for the shootings at schools – I think my numbers are low, and hopefully they go up on this record."
Marilyn's first post-Columbine album, "Holy Wood," was a bust, despite critical acclaim.
In 2013, he told Larry King that he knew almost immediately that he would receive blame.
"(I) was the best face to attach to at the time because I put myself in the role of villain. Because I think villains are the key to any good story," he said. "Before they were showing anything, they said a gang of kids wearing Marilyn Manson T-shirts shot up a school… I think I've been blamed for about 36 school shootings."