American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow addressed his sexuality for the first time in an interview with "People" magazine. The 73-year-old music legend discussed his private world, including a nearly 40-year romance with his manager, Garry Kief, whom he married in 2014.
“I’m so private. I always have been," he said in the exclusive interview.
Manilow also opened up about his one-year marriage with his high school sweetheart Susan Deixler, and insisted that he, at the time, wasn't struggling with his sexuality. Instead, he said the marriage failed because he wasn't ready to settle down.
“I was in love with Susan,” he said. “I just was not ready for marriage. I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
His love life, however, took a backseat to pursue his music career. After skyrocketing to fame with his pop-rock ballad "Mandy," Manilow met Kief in 1978.
“I knew that this was it,” Manilow said. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”
Soon after their meeting, Kief became his manager--a role he maintains to this day.
“He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life and a great guy, too,” he continued.
WATCH | Manilow performs his hit "Mandy"
Despite being together for 39 years, Manilow said he was hesitant to open up about his relationship, even after he married Kief in a clandestine ceremony in April 2014.
As to why he remained silent for all these years, the singer said he didn't want to disappoint his fans.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” he added. 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.”
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