June is significant for Barry Manilow for two reasons: he’ll celebrate his 80th birthday and it’s Pride Month. Barry officially came out in 2017, and the legendary entertainer, who married his longtime boyfriend, Gary Kief, in 2014, says it’s been nothing but a positive experience.
“Nothing changed. It was a nonevent. Gary and I have been together for 45 years, so nothing changed. My fans knew. Everybody knew. Everybody knew!” Manilow tells ABC Audio. “I wasn’t ever hiding it. Y’know, not one interviewer in all those years ever asked me if I was gay. I would pay you $100 if you could find an interview where somebody asked me that question. If they had, I would not have held back.”
However, Manilow says there was one part of his career during which he would not have spoken about it: the very beginning.
“Maybe in the ’70s, maybe in the beginning of my career, because that would have ruined the career,” he says. “I was just building it. That, I would have had trouble with back then. But once the hit records started to become popular and once the concerts became popular, I didn’t care.”
“And, you know, Gary and I were so in love — if they have trouble with it, that’s fine. You can have trouble with it, that wasn’t going to stop me,” he adds. “But coming out? It was a nonevent.”
That being said, would Manilow like to sing at a Pride event?
“Sure! Nobody ever asks, but sure. I would love it,” he says.
So attention, all Pride organizers, maybe put Barry Manilow on your list for 2024.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.