Barry Manilow is explaining why he took so long to acknowledge publicly that he's gay, even after he married his longtime manager/partner: He was afraid of "disappointing" his fans.
Manilow told People on Wednesday that he was always hesitant to come out and discuss his relationship with Garry Kief, even after nearly four decades together and after he finally married Kief in a clandestine ceremony at their 53-acre Palm Springs estate in April 2014.
When news of the marriage and Manilow’s sexuality made headlines in 2015, the Grammy award-winning singer says, he considered it "a blessing and a curse.” Although it was an open secret to some in his long-devoted, mostly female fan base, known as the "Fanilows," it was a shock to others.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” says Manilow. Later, “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.”
The Twitter reaction could be summed up as: We knew that, and who cares?
Barry Manilow came out!?— Vince pesce (@d1Vinman) April 5, 2017
1. Who didn't know?
2. Who cares?
3. He wrote the songs that made the whole world sing
4. Hes Married?
When Barry Manilow is trending on Twitter and you freak out because you think he's dead but then you're like "Oh, good he's just gay" #MANdy— Finalee (@icreatedopeness) April 5, 2017
So am I the only one that thought Barry Manilow had come out years ago and that it never mattered?— hector srsly (@Hector_Srsly) April 5, 2017
For those who were snarky, Anna Kendrick had a sarcastic retort: "Lot of people seem really proud of themselves for announcing they "already knew" Barry Manilow was gay. Yeah……ur the true heroes today guys," she tweeted.
Lot of people seem really proud of themselves for announcing they "already knew" Barry Manilow was gay. Yeah……ur the true heroes today guys.— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) April 5, 2017
At the time Manilow and Kief married, People reported it was a surprise even to the couple's 20 to 30 guests, who attended what they thought was a lunch at the Palm Springs estate.
The National Enquirer, who had the story first, reported Manilow's longtime friend and Palm Springs neighbor, Suzanne Somers, was the best man. Manilow's rep at the time declined to comment.
Manilow, 73, has long tried to keep his sexual orientation out of the public eye. His private life, he's maintained over years of touring and Las Vegas residencies, is private.
Now he's welcomed People to Palm Springs for an interview and photo shoot with Kief.
“I’m so private," Manilow said. "I always have been.”