Barry Manilow chokes up at the ‘thrilling’ way fans have reacted to him coming out
Barry Manilow has choked up as he talked about the “beautiful” way fans have reacted after he revealed he was gay.
The legendary singer came out earlier this month, after 40 years of being with his husband.
The 73-year-old entertainer, who has won Grammys, an Emmy and a Special Tony Award, has been married to his manager Garry Kief for two years.
But the singer, famous for hits like Mandy, Copacabana and Looks Like We Made It, said he was worried about “disappointing” his primarily female fans, so he hid his sexuality.
Speaking on the Today show, Manilow told the hosts: “You should walk down the street with me one day.
“These strangers say the most beautiful things to me. They thank me for helping them through their lives.
“The impact I’ve had on people – ” he added, choking up.
“I’m sorry, I’m going to [cry]. It’s thrilling.”
Manilow, who is set to release his thirtieth studio album today, explained that despite his success, he remained “a private guy.
“I’m a musician. Yes, fame hit me, but I never really wanted to go on that ride.
“So I kept my dogs to myself – I kept my home to myself,” he added.
He said he felt awkward talking about his private life, not about his sexuality.
“I’m not uncomfortable about that,” he explained.
“Garry and I have been together going on 40 years. It’s amazing for anybody.”
Since he came out two weeks ago, Manilow said the reaction had been “great,” but said he thought that it was known to many people.
“It’s no news to me and no news to everyone around me,” he commented. “Family, friends, band – I think even fans.
“I don’t think it was news at all.
“But the Enquirer caught us getting married, so we were stuck. So we let People Magazine come on in.”
Manilow and Kief wed at their home in Palm Springs in April 2014.
Although reports were never officially confirmed, Manilow’s sexuality had already long been an open secret among the singer’s fans.
In his coming out interview with People Magazine, he said it was after news of his wedding broke that he began to realise he had underestimated his fans.
“When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’” he said.
Kief is Manilow’s manager and president of Barry Manilow Productions, as well as his husband.
Manilow was previously married to his high school sweetheart Susan Deixler for a year.
He told People he had not been struggling with his sexuality during that marriage and that he was in fact “in love” with Susan, but he just hadn’t been mature enough to settle down.
Many people are still searching online to ask if Manilow is gay or straight, so hopefully this article will clear things up for them.