Barry Manilow: 'Coming out as gay in the 1970s would have killed my career'

Barry Manilow believes coming out at the height of his fame in the 1970s would have led to the end of his career.

The 75-year-old opened up about his sexuality for the first time during an interview for People magazine back in 2017 - 44 years into his five-decade strong career.

And speaking about why he waited to come out during an interview with Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, the star confessed that fear of the news going public had plagued his early career.

“It’s absolutely wonderful. I went through many, many years when I couldn’t do that. As soon as the word got out my career would have been over," he shared. “Everybody knew it, we had to watch out for making a mistake."

Despite desperately playing down speculation, the Mandy hitmaker admitted that, looking back, he wasn't particularly convincing.

“Not that everybody didn’t know, people are very smart," the star reflected. “I thought I wasn’t hiding anything, but I was also not publicising it. If I publicised it, especially in the 70s and 80s – no way."

The Could It Be Magic singer found the courage to talk about his sexuality after finally marrying long-term partner Garry Kief, who he met in 1978 and claims he "knew that was it" from that very first moment.

While the star never went public with his relationship in the past, he admitted that his friends and family accepted Garry because they could see he made the star happy.

“I knew they would be OK with it. All they ever cared about was my happiness," the Copacabana star shared. "I think they were thrilled I had someone in my life like Garry.”

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