“I’m so private. I always have been,” he told People magazine.
“I thought I would be disappointing them (fans) if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Manilow told People in an interview released on Wednesday.
The Eyewitness News reports:
Barry Manilow has spoken publicly for the first time about being gay, saying he feared he would disappoint his mostly female fan base had he come out decades ago.
The Can’t Smile Without You singer, now 73, talked with People magazine and Entertainment Tonight about his previously secret, almost 40-year romance with husband Garry Kief.
New York-born Manilow and his manager Kief had been together for years before marrying quietly in Palm Springs, California, in 2014. A year later his close friend, actress Suzanne Somers, revealed the marriage on a TV talk show, but Manilow never confirmed or commented on it.
The Oregonian reports:
He kept his personal life secret, he said, because of his fans.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay,” he said. “So I never did anything. 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.”
Manilow was previously married to Susan Deixler, his high school sweetheart.
“I was in love with Susan,” he said, and added it wasn’t his sexuality that ended their brief union. “I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
Of his husband and business partner, Manilow called him “the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life–and a great guy, too.”
The 73-year-old singer of “Mandy,” “Copacabana” and other hits, has a handful of May tour dates, though none in Portland. His latest album is “This is My Town: Songs of New York.”