Barry Manilow has bravely opened up about his sexuality for the first time, aged 73.
The pop icon has enjoyed a career in the limelight for more than 50 years but feared coming out as gay as he didn’t want to “disappoint” his fans.
Speaking to People magazine, Barry confirmed his 40-year relationship and marriage to his manager, Garry Kief, sharing: “I’m so private. I always have been.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything.”
However, the star was overjoyed when he saw that his fans accepted his and Garry’s romance, continuing: “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.”
Barry met Garry in 1978 and the pair tied the knot in a private ceremony in 2014.
Remembering the first time that they met, Barry said: “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.”
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing and he admits that he almost lost the love of his life due to his high level of fame – with Garry being thrown when he experienced some overzealous fans.
He explained: ““I got into the car with him, and [the fans] were rocking the car. He was like, ‘I can’t handle this. It’s not for me.’ I’m glad he stayed.”
We are certainly glad that he stayed too, and we are so happy that Barry has finally felt able to be open about his sexuality.