At 15, she was a published poet. In her 20s, after singing backup to Bette Midler, she had two Top 10 hits, "Midnight Blue" and "Don't Cry Out Loud."
She has performed live theatre, TV, film, and, more recently, collaborated with Utah-based composer Kurt Bestor in 2010.
Manchester, now 61,has won a Grammy for Best Female Vocalist and earned two Academy Award nominations for "Through the Eyes of Love" from "Ice Castles" and "I'll Never Say Goodbye" from the film "The Promise."
She is also currently teaching voice at the University of Southern California.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, Manchester will show Park City the reason for those accolades when she performs at Montage Deer Valley for the First Winter Blast fundraiser for the Egyptian Theatre.
During the performance, Manchester will present a career showcase.
"I'll be doing the hits and some more recent stuff," Manchester told The Park Record during a phone call from Los Angeles. "I'll also show some videos that are a little fun and more interactive. It's so nice to have a plethora of things to draw from. I've had a lot of chapters in my life and I have a few different videos to show and share a giggle with."
After the show, she'll do a meet-and-greet with the fundraiser attendees.
"I'll come out into the lobby and shake hands and hug people," she said. "It will be a nice holistic approach to the journey."
Manchester, whose father was a bassoonist in the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and mother was a clothing designer, said her love for music was fueled by Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland.
"They sort of balanced out the soul package Judy in raw, emotional availability and Ella in, gosh, everything else that was humanly possible," Manchester said.
When she hit her teens, Manchester was writing poetry when the first wave of singers and songwriters emerged.
"The Beatles, Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Sly & the Family Stone and Stevie Wonder all appeared before me and I learned from them," she said. "They weren't just only singers and songwriters, but they actually changed the shape and the substance of American popular songs. They were infusing the lyrics with much more poetry, imagery and philosophy.
"Because I was raised on Broadway-theatre, popular-song music, to have all of those folks bridging the gap was intriguing and enticing," she said. "There was all kinds of music to learn from and draw from. And I did."
Still, getting a music career on track wasn't all sunshine and roses.
"I worked very hard and paid a lot of dues," Manchester said. "I played in a lot of coffee houses that were very dirty and funky."
Those gigs didn't discourage her from her goal to become a professional entertainer.
"I'm a creative animal by nature and I like to create, and it comes in strong urges," she said. "When I started writing songs, I hoped I would have hit songs and awards, because I had no plan B. My parents were so creative and life had worked out for them; there was no reason I could think of that life wouldn't work our for me."
In addition to Manchester's performance, the First Winter Blast, which is appropriate for ages 21 and older, will feature live and silent auctions, a five-course dinner, an open bar, opportunity drawings and door prizes.
The theme this year is a "Welcome to Winter," so guests are encouraged to wear winter white or sparkly silver.
"I'm looking forward to it," Manchester said.
Tickets for the First Winter Blast to be held at Montage Deer Valley on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 5:30 p.m. are $300 per person or $2,500 for a table of 10, which also includes on luxury suite at the hotel the night of the event. Tickets can be purchased online at www.parkcityshows.com or by calling (435) 649-9371.