BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
While it’s hardly a shock to longtime Barry Manilow fans that the pop icon is gay, he has, for the first time, publicly confirmed his sexuality.
In a People magazine cover story , the hit master behind timeless ballads “Mandy,” “Could it Be Magic,” “Weekend in New England” and dozens more, says that he feared fans would be disappointed if they knew he was gay and in a 40-year relationship with manager Garry Kief.
Instead, Manilow told the magazine, “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, 73, and Kief married in 2014 at the piano maestro’s Palm Springs estate. When news of the nuptials surfaced briefly in 2015, Manilow said it was “a blessing and a curse.”
The incredibly private musician l ast played Atlanta in June 2015 on what was billed as a farewell tour. The Brooklyn-reared Manilow will release, “This is My Town: Songs of New York,” on April 21.