It’s very telling of the world we live in where someone like Barry Manilow, whose soft-rock caters to what has to be one of the most mellow groups on the planet, was afraid to publicly come out for nearly four decades.
In a new profile in People, 73-year-old Manilow opened up about life with his partner of 39 years, Garry Kief, and why his fans kept him in the closet. “I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay,” the singer said. “So I never did anything.”
It took until his marriage to Kief in 2014 for Manilow to publicly acknowledge his sexuality, and he remembers being inundated with positive responses. “When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy,” Manilow said. “The reaction was so beautiful—strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.