Barry Manilow, a singer-songwriter, claims that for years he kept his sexual orientation a secret since doing so might have destroyed his career.
The celebrity, who came out as homosexual in 2017, said that during the 1970s, “the public was not ready for anybody to come out” to Chris Wallace on CNN.
He said, “Being gay is no big deal anymore.” “Back in the 70s it would have killed a career.”
The musician, who was born in Brooklyn, has spent 39 years dating his manager, Garry Kief.
2014 saw their secret marriage.
Manilow responded that he “never thought about it” when Wallace asked him if he had ever been under pressure to disguise who he was.
He characterized his choice to come out as “a non-event” six years ago in People magazine.
“I think everybody knew that Garry and I were a couple all those years,” he said.
At the time, he said his fans’ response to the announcement had made it a “beautiful experience”.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he told Reuters, “but I should have known better because my fans, and frankly the public, they care about my happiness and I have always known that.”
Manilow, whose real name is Barry Pincus, is among the best-selling musicians of all time because of his sophisticated, orchestral classics, which include Copacabana, Mandy, and Looks Like We Made It.
In his eighth decade, he is still very much in the spotlight, having recently been cast in a Christmas TV special and premiering a new Broadway musical. He is a born showman.
He’s been doing a residency in Las Vegas for the past 14 years, and he has shows planned through December 2024.
Midway through the 1970s, Manilow’s career took off, and he gave Kief credit for saving his life during those explosive years.
“My career took off, and it was insane. He clarified, “And, you know, returning to an empty hotel room can get you into a lot of trouble if you’re alone night after night.”
However, I met Garry just as it was blowing up. Furthermore, I was spared from returning to those vacant hotel rooms. I had someone with whom I could rejoice or cry.”
“Until I met Garry, it was pretty lonely,” he continued. Then it was enjoyable.”
Manilow had married Susan Deixler, his childhood sweetheart, in 1964 before he started dating Kief.
After a year of dating, the couple’s marriage was dissolved in 1966.
He acknowledged that “the gay thing was pretty, pretty strong” but said that he “really did love” his wife.
But he insisted that it was not his sexuality but rather a lack of commitment that caused the marriage to collapse.
“Our marriage was wonderful, but as a young musician, I spent every night away from home recording music, which wasn’t healthy for either of us.
“I was unable to be a good husband. I was recently out with a band, recording music. The Drunkard is an off-Broadway musical that I wrote. I was having a great time. I was just not cut out to be a husband.”
Throughout the discussion, Manilow mentioned at several points how his experience creating jingles had aided his musical career.
“You’ve got to get a hook in 15 seconds that people will remember for a commercial, and the same goes for a pop song,” he stated.
It was also disclosed that the idea for Copacabana sprang from his recuperation from his “first nervous breakdown” in the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro in 1970.
In response to Wallace’s questions, Manilow claimed he was “just kidding” about the breakdown but acknowledged that his notoriety had had an impact on his mental state.
“I was a happy guy being the background before Mandy and all the huge records.
“Up until I had to get up there and perform, I was having a terrific time. Although I wouldn’t describe it as a nervous breakdown, I did had issues with it.”