(CNN)For years Barry Manilow kept his sexuality a secret, fearful of how fans might react.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay,” the legendary singer recently told People magazine. “So I never did anything.”
These days Manilow is not only out but on the cover of People talking about his private life and love of 39 years, his manager Garry Kief.
It’s a rare moment of openness for the 73-year-old star who told the publication, “I’m so private. I always have been.”
Manilow said he was focused mostly on his career, which included hits such as “Mandy” and “Copacabana (At the Copa),” when he met Kief, a TV executive, in 1978.
“I knew that this was it,” Manilow said. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”
The couple remained together despite Kief’s initial lack of comfort with Manilow’s fame, and they stayed discreetly under the radar.