Barry Manilow has said that the outpouring of love and support he’s gotten from fans since coming out as gay has been “thrilling”.
The entertainer publicly acknowledged his sexuality for the first time earlier this month, and he got choked up when talking about his fans in an interview on US talk show Today.
“You should walk down the street with me one day. These strangers say the most beautiful things to me,” Barry said.
“They thank me for helping them through their lives. The impact I’ve had on people… I’m sorry, I’m going to cry. It’s thrilling.”
The “Copacabana” singer had been in a relationship with his manager Garry Kief for decades before the couple quietly marred in front of two dozen family and friends at their estate in California in 2014. He told Today his sexuality is “no news to me and no news to everyone around me.”
“Family, friends, band, I think even fans. I don’t think it was news at all,” he said.
“I’m a private guy, I’m a musician. Fame hit me but I never really wanted to go on that ride. I kept my dogs to myself, I kept my home to myself, so [the publicity] is uncomfortable.
“But the topic? No I’m not uncomfortable about that. Garry and I have been together for going on 40 years. It’s amazing for anybody.”
Barry rose to fame in 1974 with ballad “Mandy”, followed by hits like “Looks Like We Made It”, “Copacabana” and “Can’t Smile Without You”. His new album This Is My Town: Songs of New York is out now.