Is Barry Manilow Gay? The Iconic Singer Reveals His Secret

Barry Manilow stands as one of the most accomplished and adored vocalists in music history. His catalog boasts unforgettable hits like “Mandy,” “Copacabana,” and “Looks Like We Made It.” With a staggering 80 million records sold worldwide and a host of accolades to his name, Manilow’s career has been nothing short of remarkable. Yet, for many years, he guarded a deeply personal secret from both his fans and the public: his sexual orientation and his marriage to his devoted partner and manager, Garry Kief. Here’s the untold story of his journey regarding his sexuality and his relationship.

Barry Manilow’s Early Life and Career

Born on June 17, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish parents, Barry Manilow spent his formative years in a modest neighborhood. He developed an enduring passion for music at a tender age, mastering instruments like the piano, accordion, and harmonica, and lending his voice to the school choir. He graduated from Eastern District High School in 1961, furthering his musical education at both the New York College of Music and the Juilliard School.

Manilow embarked on his professional career as a composer of jingles and an arranger for commercial campaigns, including notable brands like State Farm, Band-Aid, and McDonald’s. In addition, he served as a pianist and musical director for the iconic Bette Midler, with their serendipitous meeting occurring at a New York gay bathhouse. Their collaboration led to the production of her debut albums, “The Divine Miss M” and “Bette Midler.”

In 1973, Barry Manilow launched his solo career with the release of his eponymous debut album, featuring the hit single “Could It Be Magic.” His fame skyrocketed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, driven by a series of captivating pop ballads and infectious melodies that showcased his vocal prowess. Among his chart-toppers are beloved tunes such as “I Write the Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Even Now,” and “Somewhere Down the Road.”

Throughout his illustrious career, Manilow continued to record and perform, contributing over 30 studio albums and gracing the stage in countless concerts and shows. His artistic evolution encompassed diverse musical genres, including jazz, swing, Broadway, and classical. Along the way, he amassed a treasure trove of awards, including three Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, and one American Music Award. His achievements also led to inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Barry Manilow’s Marriage to Garry Kief

In 1978, Barry Manilow crossed paths with Garry Kief, a television executive who attended one of his shows. Their instant connection blossomed into a profound love that has endured to this day. Kief assumed the roles of Manilow’s manager and president of Barry Manilow Productions, overseeing crucial business decisions and career management.

For nearly four decades, Barry Manilow and Garry Kief carefully safeguarded the secrecy of their relationship, fearing that disclosing their sexual orientation might disappoint or alienate their loyal fanbase. They established their shared life in Palm Springs, California, where they cultivated a close-knit circle of friends who were privy to their romantic bond.

In a discreet ceremony held at their residence in April 2014, Barry Manilow and Garry Kief exchanged vows before approximately 50 guests who believed they were attending a luncheon. The news of their marriage gradually surfaced in the media in 2015, although the couple remained tight-lipped, confirming the union only in 2017.

Barry Manilow’s Coming Out

At the age of 73, Barry Manilow chose to publicly disclose his sexual orientation in an interview with People magazine in April 2017. His decision stemmed from a desire for authenticity, both for himself and his devoted fanbase. To his surprise, the revelation was met with a heartwarming outpouring of support from fans and the general public alike.

Manilow expressed his contentment with his loving husband and emphasized their compatibility. Grateful for having found love after a prolonged period of loneliness, he affirmed his support for the LGBTQ+ community and their rights. His hope was that his coming out would serve as an inspiration for others to embrace their true selves and lead lives marked by authenticity and freedom.


Barry Manilow, a revered musical icon, has captivated audiences worldwide for more than four decades with his timeless melodies. He is also a proud gay man who has enjoyed a loving marriage to his devoted partner and manager, Garry Kief, spanning seven years. While he concealed his sexual orientation for much of his life, he ultimately chose to come out publicly in 2017, sharing his pride in who he is and the happiness he has found in his marriage. His journey has been marked by the support of his fans and his commitment to championing LGBTQ+ rights.

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