Pop music icon Barry Manilow officially comes out (finally) in an interview with People Magazine.
Manilow says he stayed closeted, in part, because he didn’t want to “disappoint” his fans.
After skyrocketing to fame in 1974 with his pop-rock ballad “Mandy,” the Brooklyn native’s star only got brighter with the release of classics like “Looks Like We Made It,” “Copacabana (At the Copa)” and “Can’t Smile Without You.” Then in 1978, he met Kief — a TV executive and Houston native — and “I knew that this was it,” says Manilow. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”
Soon after, Kief became Manilow’s manager, a role he still holds today, in addition to being President of Barry Manilow Productions.
“He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too,” Manilow says.
And the couple has stayed together for 39 years, all while remaining mum on his sexuality — an open secret to some in his long-devoted, mostly female fan base, a shock to others — and even stepping out and living with once-rumored love interest Linda Allen during his relationship with Kief.
Manilow admits he’s always been hesitant to discuss the relationship — and to come out publicly, even after he finally married Kief in a clandestine ceremony at their 53-acre Palm Springs estate in April 2014.
In 2015, news of their marriage and Manilow’s sexuality made headlines, something the legend calls “a blessing and a curse.”
Considering his fans, “I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” says Manilow. Turns out, “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.”
While it’s one of the worst kept “secrets” in Hollywood, you can look back and see a subliminal message in his songs. Was he trying to say something years ago?