Barry Manilow opens up about coming out, marriage and new record, ‘This Is My Town’

Barry Manilow. The name conjures up some of the most classic romantic pop hits of the past four decades.

But while millions know by heart the songs that make the whole world sing, the 73-year-old legend has generally kept his personal life out of the spotlight.

Barry Manilow talks coming out, new music and the success of ‘Copacabana’


At least, until now. On Thursday, Manilow made it through the rain to discuss his 2014 marriage to partner and manager, Garry Keif, on TODAY. And, as he explained, coming out as gay and opening his love life to the world was not something he necessarily would have chosen to do.

Barry Manilow and Garry Kief
Garry Kief and Barry Manilow at a 2016 pre-Grammy Awards gala in Beverly Hills, California.Steve Granitz / WireImage

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“It’s not news to me and no news to anybody around me,” he said. “I think even fans, I don’t think it was news at all. But the [National] Enquirer caught us getting married, and so we were stuck…. I’m a private guy, I’m a musician. Yes, fame hit me, but I never really wanted to go on that ride.”

Nor is he embarrassed by his sexuality. “I’m not uncomfortable about that; Gary and I have been together for going on 40 years.”

Manilow was married once before, from 1964-65, to Susan Deixler.

But while Manilow came and gave without taking, we were not going to send him away without some songs.

Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow, live on the TODAY plaza. Could he be magic?Nathan Congleton / TODAY

The Brooklyn-bred singer (and onetime jingle writer) took to the stage on the TODAY plaza for an enthusiastic audience ready to hear him croon tunes dedicated to his hometown city, some of which are featured on his 30th studio album, “This is My Town.”

But while his rendition of “On Broadway,” flavored with a few lines of his 1970s hit “New York City Rhythm” (among others), was terrific …

Barry Manilow performs ‘New York City Rhythm / On Broadway’ on TODAY


… there was one song everybody basically demanded he sing: 1978’s “Copacabana (At the Copa)”!

The song was so much in demand that #SingCopaToday started trending on Twitter.

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Did it work?

Watch Barry Manilow performs ‘Copacabana,’ by popular demand from the TODAY anchors


And how!

And of course the anchors were hugely into the whole performance:

Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow … and his TODAY fan club!Nathan Congleton / TODAY

“We didn’t expect it to be a hit record at all, because those were the days of ballads,” he said. “Now, it’s wound up to be, you mention my name, people say ‘Copacabana’!”

Hey, we can’t smile without you, Barry.

He also performed his classic 1976 hit “Daybreak” …

Barry Manilow performs his classic hit ‘Daybreak’ live on TODAY


… as well as the titular track from his new album.

Watch Barry Manilow perform his new song ‘This Is My Town’ live on TODAY


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