It’s been just over two years since 75-year-old music legend Barry Manilow came out of the closet, but he’s back in the news again, so now’s as good a time as ever to remind you that Barry Manilow, your mom’s favorite singer, is gay.
Though Manilow has been publicly out and proud for two years now, most of his career was spent in the closet, something he reflected on in an interview with British newspaper The Daily Mirror.
Manilow said being out is “absolutely wonderful.”
“I went through many, many years when I couldn’t do that. It would have killed my career. Immediately,” the singer said. “As soon as the word got out my career would have been over. It was stupid then but it was true. Everybody knew it, we had to watch out for making a mistake. Not that everybody didn’t know, people are very smart.”
Not only was Manilow gay, he got his start performing at gay bathhouses as Bette Midler’s pianist. Midler got her start by performing for queer men in towels who would listen to her sing and deliver bawdy jokes in between sexcapades.
When Manilow came out as gay in 2017, he also announced that he had been with his partner Garry Kief, who is also his manager, since 1978 and that the two got married in 2014. Manilow is currently performing in a Vegas residency until October and is working on three — three!! — albums.
Manilow also commented that while he is a gay singer, he’s not a great singer!
‘I’ve always known I’m not a great singer,’ he said ’Luther Vandross was a great singer, George Michael was a great singer. Me, I am a pretty good interpreter of a lyric.I interpret songs, that’s what I do best. I’m just a working musician, that’s what I see myself as. I love doing what I’m doing.”