Barry Manilow, 73, is finally opening up about his sexuality.
For his entire career, the singer has been fiercely private, but now has invited People into his Palm Springs home for an interview with his manager/husband Garry Kief. The two have now been together for nearly 40 years.
“I’m so private. I always have been,” Barry says of not revealing his sexuality.
Born Barry Alan Pincus in 1943, the singer says when he married his high school sweetheart Susan Deixler, he was in love with her.
“I was in love with Susan,” he says. “I just was not ready for marriage…I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
He found fame in 1974 with “Mandy,” then met his now husband in 1978.
“I knew that this was it,” says Barry. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that. He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too.”
Garry became his manager, in addition to being President of Barry Manilow Productions.
But Barry kept quiet about his love for decades, staying in the closet, he says, because he didn’t want to alienate his fans.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Barry says. “When they 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.”
Barry’s BFF Suzanne Somers, says close pals knew about the relationship of course, and explained why it works.
“There’s Barry Manilow the performer, and then there’s the Barry ‘machine,’” she says. “It takes enormous savvy and know-how to book and market complicated arena tours, choreograph promotion, direct the entire team and make it look effortless, and that part is Garry’s domain. A major career takes two. Between them, there is enormous comfort and trust.”
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