Barry Manilow comes out of the closet
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Barry Manilow comes out of the closet

Jewish crooner says he hid long-term relationship with manager because he didn't want to disappoint female fans, but everyone's been great

Barry Manilow performs in concert during his 'One Last Time! Tour 2016' in Hershey, Pa., March 17, 2016. (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
Barry Manilow performs in concert during his 'One Last Time! Tour 2016' in Hershey, Pa., March 17, 2016. (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

Barry Manilow hid being gay for decades because he thought he would be “disappointing fans if they knew.”

The Jewish crooner told People magazine that he concealed his 39-year-relationship with his manager because he didn’t want to upset his predominantly female audience.

The 73-year-old music legend married his longtime manager, Gary Kief, in a 2014 ceremony at their home in Palm Springs, California. Manilow told the magazine’s April 17 issue that keeping their romance out of the media was stressful.

However, it turned out that his concern about the response of his fans, known as “Fanilows,” was misplaced.

“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 has enjoyed the positive response to the magazine article, tweeting, “I’m loving all of your responses. You guys are truly the greatest.”

He also thanked his audience for supporting him.

“Thank you to my fans for the years of support. My story is out and I look forward to many more years of sharing my music,” he tweeted.

Manilow said he has always tried to keep his personal and public lives separate. ““I’m so private. I always have been,” he said. “When I met Gary, that was even more of a reason to keep my life private.”

The singer of such hits as “Mandy” and “Can’t Smile Without You” is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. His maternal grandparents were Russian Jews, and his paternal grandfather was Jews, though his grandmother was Catholic. Born Barry Alan Pincus, he decided to adopt his mother’s maiden name after his bar mitzvah.

Manilow has a new album coming out, “This Is My Town: Songs of New York,” due to be released on April 21.

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