Legendary singer Barry Manilow opened up to “People” about his relationship status, publicly coming out as gay for the first time. While fans have suspected that Manilow is gay for quite some time, it was not until he confirmed his relationship with Garry Kief that the public’s suspicions were confirmed. Not only has the couple managed to keep their relationship out of the public eye for 40 years, they have been married for the last three years, tying the knot in front of 50 friends back in 2014. 

Afraid of the public’s reaction, Manilow, who calls himself a private person, avoided coming out for the sake of his fans. 

“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” shared Manilow. “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.”

Kief is also a private person, who almost did not date Manilow because of his life in the spotlight. Now, in addition to husband, Kief is both Manilow’s manager and President of Barry Manilow Productions. 

“I got into the car with him, and [the fans] were rocking the car,” Manilow recounts about a date with Kief. “He was like, ‘I can’t handle this. It’s not for me.’ I’m glad he stayed.”

Barry Manilow took to Twitter to thank his fans for their overwhelming support.

Manilow’s new album, “This Is My Town: Songs of New York” debuts April 21.