Barry Manilow is one of the most popular singers the world has ever known, with a long and successful career spanning several decades – and he’s set to launch a new album on April 21, entitled “This is My Town” but not too many people know that he’s gay because it’s a secret that he jealously guarded, even though he has a partner for nearly 40 years!
The 73-year-old Manilow recently came out as gay, admitting that keeping sexual orientation a secret had actually caused him anxiety and stress for many, as he was afraid that someone would find out and leak it to the media. He feared that public reaction over the matter would be negative and that it would doom his career.
“I’m so private. I always have been. I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” he said.
So, despite meeting life partner Garry Kief in 1978 and eventually marrying him in 2014, the secret remained a secret known only to their close friends.
Now that he’s come out after all those years of ‘hiding in the closet’, Manilow admitted that he fell in love with Kief the moment they met, “I knew that this was it. I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”
Kief, the President of Barry Manilow Productions and his long-time manager, also became his life partner. The two acted so natural in public that no one really suspected they had a relationship at all.
But Manilow admits that keeping the relationship private as quite stressful – but his fears might have been unfounded.
“When [the fans] 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 exclaimed.
This could be one of the reasons why he finally came out and announced it in public. But many people weren’t even surprised, with some celebrities tweeting that they were happy that Manilow finally admitted it in public because they already knew about it and the singer was “silly” for stressing over it.
It can be recalled that Manilow got married to childhood sweetheart Susan Deixler in the early 60s but divorced her just a year after marriage because he wanted to go on “this wondrous musical adventure”. Even now, Manilow said he wasn’t confused with his sexual orientation then but was just not ready to settle down.
Today, he proudly announced that he’s been in love with Garry Kief for nearly 40 years and is finally free to be openly happy with the relationship now that he’s told the world he is gay…