Barry Manilow chats to Sharon Osbourne about coming out as gay
Barry Manilow appeared on The Talk this week, one month after he opened up about being gay.
The legendary singer came out a month ago today, 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.
The singer, famous for hits like Mandy, Copacabana and Looks Like We Made It, confesses in an interview that he hid his sexuality for years because he was worried about “disappointing” his primarily female fans.
He appeared on The Talk this week for the first time after coming out, chatting to out panellist Sara Gilbert and de facto gay icon Sharon Osbourne.
Gilbert said: “I want to talk about last month, when you bravely opened up to People Magazine about being gay and married to your long-time partner.”
After the audience cheers, Gilbert asked: “How is it to get that reaction and support?”
Manilow said: “Times have changed, to get a reaction like that!”
He added: “I kind of expected it. I would have been disappointed if I didn’t get that kind of reaction. My fans and the people who love me want me to be happy.
“I know it sounds odd, I’m a singer and a musician, but the people who have supported me over the years, they really seem to care about me and my happiness.”
Osborne said: “You are an American icon… you are beloved.”
Manuilow quipped: “For years, I was be-hated… and now I’m be-loved.”
In a separate interview with Lorraine Kelly, Manilow said the attention he’s received is “creepy”.
He said: “It’s been creepy, but you know, who cares? It doesn’t bother me.
“I still have my private life, but I am i nthe public eye no matter what I say. When I come home, I close the door and you can’t come in unless I invite you in.
“I don’t like people knowing what the names of my dogs are, I don’t like people knowing where I live. I’ve kept that to myself for all these years.”
Manilow, who is promoting his thirtieth studio album, explained previously that he remains “a private guy”.
He added: “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 said he felt awkward talking about his private life, not about his sexuality.
“I’m not uncomfortable about that… 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.