Sir Elton John has said he was sure people knew about his homosexuality before he confirmed it in an interview in the late 1980s.

In an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, he said he thought it was “common knowledge” he was in a gay relationship and had been waiting to be asked the question.

He said: “Nobody asked me. When (journalist) Cliff Jahr asked me in Rolling Stone, ‘I’m gonna ask you a question, but if you don’t want to answer it, I’m gonna turn the tape recorder off’ And I said, ‘You’re gonna ask me if I’m gay or not.’ And he said, ‘How did you know that?’.

“I said, ‘I’ve been waiting for people to ask me this. It’s not exactly a secret. I live with my manager. I’m openly gay outside. I don’t have a girlfriend… I just thought it was common knowledge.'”

Sir Elton, who is a in civil partnership with film-maker David Furnish, with whom he has a son, said it was confusion over his sexuality which led to his four-year marriage to Renate Blauel in the mid-80s.

The musician added that he did not foresee his homosexuality interfering with his career.

He said: “I honestly didn’t (think it would hurt my career). And, to be honest with you, it did a little bit. In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn’t play me.”