Barry Manilow, who is known for his hits of the Seventies and Eighties such as Mandy, Copacabana and Looks Like We Made It, revealed he is gay in a recent interview.
"I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything," Manilow told People magazine.
Manilow has been with his manager Garry Kief, who is also President of Barry Manilow Productions, since the couple met in 1978. He said of their meeting: "I knew that this was it. I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that."
Some of Manilow's most devoted fans have known of his sexuality for years, despite his efforts to keep it a secret. He and Kief married in a quiet ceremony on their 53-acre Palm Springs estate in 2014, something that certain fans found out about.
But, Manilow reveals, his fears of prejudice were unwarranted. "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."
Manilow says that Kief is "the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life – and a great guy, too". Actress and singer Suzanne Somers, who is a friend of the couple, said: "A major career takes two. Between them, there is enormous comfort and trust."
Manilow was briefly married to Susan Deixler while he was a student at the New York College of Music. The pair married after he graduated from high school and he said he was " just was not ready for marriage", although he wasn't struggling with his sexuality at the time. "I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down. I was in love with Susan."
Manilow will release his 29th studio album, This is My Town, on April 21.