Barry Manilow comes out as gay at 73

Veteran performer was worried the news would 'disappoint' fans

Barry Manilow has come out as gay at the age of 73, saying that he didn’t open up about his sexuality sooner out of fear of “disappointing” his fans.

Manilow’s sexuality has long been the subject of rumour and speculation. Speaking to People, the singer confirmed that he married his manager/long-term partner Garry Kief in April 2014. The couple first met in 1978.

“I’m so private. I always have been,” Manilow said of his reasons for not coming out sooner.

He added: “I thought I would be disappointing [my fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything. 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.”

Manilow continued to say of his husband: “I knew that this was it. 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”.

The veteran performer was previously married to his high-school sweetheart, Susan Deixler. They were married for a year in 1961. Speaking to People, Manilow said of this period: “I was in love with Susan. 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.”