Barry Manilow is gay. If you're thinking, "Wait, I already knew this," you're not exactly wrong; rumors have swirled for years, and his secret 2014 wedding to longtime manager Garry Kief was reported the following year. But the singer never officially came out to fans—until now. In a new interview with People, Manilow, 73, says that the moment he met Kief back in 1978, "I knew that this was it." During the ensuing 39 years, their relationship has been an "open secret" to some fans, while others have been in the dark the whole time, People notes. Manilow even went so far as to live with rumored love interest Linda Allen at one point during those years.
"I thought I would be disappointing [fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything," Manilow explains. But in reality, "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." In a corresponding interview with Entertainment Tonight, Manilow adds that since everyone in his life knew about his relationship, "It never really dawned on me to say anything about it. I mean, I'm a very private guy. I don't even like people knowing the names of my dogs." Sample Twitter reaction to the news? "Is anyone else relieved like I am that Barry Manilow is trending on Twitter because he came out and not because he died?"