Barry Manilow comes out as gay at the age of 73; singer recently married partner of 40 years
Chart-topping singer Barry Manilow came out of the closet on Wednesday, 5 April 2017, at age 73, saying he kept silent on his nearly four-decade relationship with a man to avoid disappointing fans.
Manilow, best known for his love ballad 'Mandy' and the Latin-tinged pop number 'Copacabana (at the Copa)' confirmed his sexuality two years after gossip media discovered his marriage to his manager Garry Kief.
Barry Manilow told People magazine that he hid being gay for decades because he thought he would be "disappointing fans if they knew."
Born Barry Alan Pincus in 1943 and raised by his single mother Edna Manilow, in Brooklyn, Manilow knew early on his first love was music.
His second love was his high school sweetheart Susan Deixler. "I was in love with Susan," says Manilow of the woman he married after graduating high school, "I just was not ready for marriage."
The star maintains he wasn’t struggling with his sexuality at the time of their one-year matrimony. "I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down."
The 73-year-old music legend married his longtime manager, Gary Kief, in a 2014 ceremony at their home in Palm Springs, California.
"I have not read one negative response," Manilow told Entertainment Tonight of the reaction he's received from fans ever since news broke in 2015 that he had secretly tied the knot with Kief. "These strangers out there, and I've always known it, they care about me."
"I don't know, maybe they care about everybody, but for me, it is so moving, it is so deep that these strangers were so happy that I was happy," he continues. "That I wasn't alone, that I had somebody that was with me that I loved and that we'd been together for 37 years. We're in great shape, and I was very grateful for that response."Mandy
Manilow, who has a new album this month, This Is My Town: Songs of New York said he has always tried to keep his personal and public lives separate. "When I met Gary, that was even more of a reason to keep my life private."
"I'm glad he stayed," said the singer reflects.
(With inputs from agencies)