Barry Manilow on coming out and his secret marriage


Jul 28, 2012

(CNN)For years Barry Manilow kept his sexuality a secret, fearful of how fans might react.

"I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay," the legendary singer recently told People magazine. "So I never did anything."
These days Manilow is not only out but on the cover of People talking about his private life and love of 39 years, his manager Garry Kief.

It's a rare moment of openness for the 73-year-old star who told the publication, "I'm so private. I always have been."
Manilow said he was focused mostly on his career, which included hits such as "Mandy" and "Copacabana (At the Copa)," when he met Kief, a TV executive, in 1978.

"I knew that this was it," Manilow said. "I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that."
The couple remained together despite Kief's initial lack of comfort with Manilow's fame, and they stayed discreetly under the radar.

For a time, Manilow even he lived with TV production assistant Linda Allen, who was rumored to be his love interest.
The beloved performer's sexuality had long been the topic of speculation when he and Kief secretly married in 2014 at their Palm Springs, California, estate.

The news made the headlines a year later, and Manilow publicly came out.
Now he says he is happy with how it's all been received.

"When (fans) 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."


Jul 28, 2012

Barry Manilow Reveals Why He Didn’t Come Out for Decades: I Thought I Would ‘Disappoint’ Fans If They Knew I Was Gay

For decades Barry Manilow gave the world timeless hits, while keeping his own world a total secret. Now at 73 years old, the music legend is opening up about his life, struggles and, for the first time, his sexuality.

Fiercely private, the pop icon recently welcomed PEOPLE into his Palm Springs home for an exclusive interview and photo shoot with his manager husband Garry Kief — and talked for the first time about their nearly 40-year romance. Says Manilow, “I’m so private. I always have been.”

Indeed, Manilow’s personal life took a backseat as he pursued a career in music, writing jingles to pay the bills (State Farm, Band-Aid and others still use them today) and in 1971, taking a gig arranging music for and accompanying a young Bette Midler at the gay hotspot the Continental Baths. He produced the diva’s first two albums and when her career took off, his followed suit.

After skyrocketing to fame in 1974 with his pop-rock ballad “Mandy,” the Brooklyn native’s star only got brighter with the release of classics like “Looks Like We Made It,” “Copacabana (At the Copa)” and “Can’t Smile Without You.” Then in 1978, he met Kief — a TV executive and Houston native — and “I knew that this was it,” says Manilow. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”

Soon after, Kief became Manilow’s manager, a role he still holds today, in addition to being President of Barry Manilow Productions.

“He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too,” Manilow says.

Adds longtime friend Suzanne Somers: “There’s Barry Manilow the performer, and then there’s the Barry ‘machine.’ It takes enormous savvy and know-how to book and market complicated arena tours, choreograph promotion, direct the entire team and make it look effortless, and that part is Garry’s domain. A major career takes two. Between them, there is enormous comfort and trust.”

Not that it was always easy for the pair. Early on in their relationship, Kief went to a Manilow concert. Afterward, “I got into the car with him, and [the fans] were rocking the car,” Manilow recalls. “He was like, ‘I can’t handle this. It’s not for me.’ I’m glad he stayed.”

And the couple has stayed together for 39 years, all while remaining mum on his sexuality — an open secret to some in his long-devoted, mostly female fan base, a shock to others — and even stepping out and living with once-rumored love interest Linda Allen during his relationship with Kief.

Manilow admits he’s always been hesitant to discuss the relationship — and to come out publicly, even after he finally married Kief in a clandestine ceremony at their 53-acre Palm Springs estate in April 2014.

In 2015, news of their marriage and Manilow’s sexuality made headlines, something the legend calls “a blessing and a curse.”

Considering his fans, “I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” says Manilow. Turns out, “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.”



Feb 26, 2012
I don't think I will ever understand why people care so much what someone else is doing in their own bedroom. And, to me, the ones who care the most lives need more attention than they give to someone else's bedroom activities.

But good for him for living his truth. I'm sure it's freeing for him.


I run with scissors
Apr 22, 2006
Long and Low Farms
Truth- back long long ago when I showed horses Barry would show up with his boyfriend, a hunter/jumper horse trainer named Randy. Rumor had it that the song Mandy was originally written for Randy but of course the name changed. The best part of all this was it meant I learned very early that some girls liked girls and some boys liked boys and big whoop who cares. As long as people are happy.


May 8, 2013
He's of that generation and that type of performer where it seemed important to them to always maintain a facade. I saw an interview with him once where he sort of insinuated he was with a woman... it was awkward to watch.

This is much better, good for him.
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Best Bubbie
Jul 12, 2006
Pikesville, Maryland
Not that it's anyone else's business, but I'm glad he doesn't feel he has to hide anymore. But...I doubt it's a surprise to anyone. Unfortunately, there are way too many who still feel they have to hide, with good reason.
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Nov 1, 2014
I'm glad he's finally at a point in his life that he feels free enough to open up. I actually thought he was out. I never thought about his relationships, gay, straight, or otherwise. His relationship is a long term's tough to find true love in this world. I say good for him & wish him nothing but happiness.
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Jul 28, 2012
He's the legendary American musician who has had 12 number one hits.

And Barry Manilow, 73, looked thrilled as his work over the years nabbed him the prestigious BMI Icon Award at the 65th Annual BMI Pop Awards on Tuesday.

The blue-eyed crooner, who came out as gay just four weeks ago, wore a suave ensemble complete with a funky suit jacket for the evening's festivities.

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