The singer is known for many hit songs in the 70s and 80s, like Copacabana, Mandy, and more. He recently revealed his sexual orientation in an interview.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Manilow said to People magazine.
The singer was dating Garry Kief, his manager and President of his production company, Barry Manilow Productions. The couple met back in 1978.
He recalled of the time they met: “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.
Manilow reveals that his fears and worries of discrimination or prejudice were actually 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 stated that he believes Kief is “the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life – and a great guy, too”.
Singer and actress Suzanne Somers, a close friend of Manilow and his partner, stated: “A major career takes two. Between them, there is enormous comfort and trust.”
Manilow had briefly been married to ex-wife Susan Deixler during his time as a student in New York’s College of Music. The two married right after he had graduated from his high school, and he recalled that he “just was not ready for marriage”, even though he hadn’t been struggling with issues of sexuality during 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 is releasing his most recent, and 29th album, This is My Town, this April 21.