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Barry Manilow has admitted he “never even thought” about questioning his sexuality until he met his future husband.
The veteran musician, 78, struck up a romance with TV executive Garry Kief in 1978 following the collapse of his marriage to Susan Deixler, which officially ended in 1966.
Garry went on to become Barry's manager and the pair married in secret in 2014 before going public with their love in 2017.
Now, Barry admits he didn't realise he might be gay until he met Garry, telling America's Closer magazine: “(I) never even thought about whether I was gay (before I met Garry).”
He credits Garry with helping him get his business affairs back on track after finding himself in financial turmoil, adding of his partner: “He's the smartest person I've ever met in my life – and a great guy too.
“I was one of the lucky ones.”
After coming out publicly in 2017, Barry told PEOPLE magazine he kept his personal life private for so many years because he was worried about disappointing his fans.
The ‘Mandy' hitmaker explained: “I'm so private. I always have been. I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything.”
On the positive reaction the news, he added: “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.”