Barry Manilow Comes Out as Gay at 73 and Says He Hid Sexuality to Avoid 'Disappointing' Fans
Barry Manilow is opening up for the first time about his sexuality.
The 73-year-old music legend has been in a nearly 40-year romance with his manager-turned-husband Garry Kief.
For decades, the "Copacabana" singer, attempted to hide his sexuality, saying in the new issue of People magazine, "I thought I would be disappointing [fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything."
Manilow was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At 21, he married his high school sweetheart Susan Deixler, but the union last just one year.
Deixler reportedly filed for an annulment, claiming that their marriage had never been consummated.
Manilow, who launched his career with the 1974 hit "Mandy,” described to People the moment he met Kief, a former TV executive, in 1978.
"I knew that this was it," he said. "I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that. He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too."
The singer also described how their relationship got off to a rocky start, recalling the time their car was mobbed by fans following a concert.
"I got into the car with him, and [the fans] were rocking the car. He was like, 'I can’t handle this. It's not for me.' I'm glad he stayed," he recalled.
Manilow tried to hide the relationship by stepping out with women. At one point he lived with TV production assistant Linda Allen.
In 2014, Manilow and Kief tied the knot in a secret ceremony at the singer’s Palm Springs estate. The following year, news of the nuptials made unexpected headlines.
"When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, 'Great for you!' I’m just so grateful for it," he said.