London, May 15 (IANS): Singer Barry Manilow says coming out as gay sooner would have killed his career.
Two years after confirming that he is gay, Manilow opened up about his joy at being able to call Garry Kief, the man he fell for in 1978 and married in 2014, his husband, reports mirror.co.uk.
Manilow, 75, said: "It's absolutely wonderful. I went through many, many years when I couldn't do that. It would have killed my career. Immediately."
In the years between starting a relationship with Kief, also his manager, and introducing him to the world as his husband, Manilow did all he could to hide his sexuality.
"As soon as the word got out my career would have been over. It was stupid then but it was true. Everybody knew it, we had to watch out for making a mistake. Not that everybody didn't know, people are very smart.
"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. When I started, I knew I was gay, I had a hit record and I was on the cover of Teen Beat magazine. Now what do I do? I guess it became OK a couple of years ago," Manilow added.
Since he came out to People magazine in 2017, he said the reaction of his fans has been positive, with "not one note" of negativity.
He met Kief, then a TV executive, in 1978 and "knew that was it" from the start. They married in April 2014 in a low-key, private ceremony.
Manilow also credits Kief with rescuing him from a desperate financial situation.