Pop legend Barry Manilow (right) kept it a secret for years, fearing his fans would be disappointed if the truth was revealed.

But today, at the age of 73 and at the end of one of the longest and most successful careers in show business, Barry Manilow finally announced to the world that he is gay.

The singer also confirmed that in 2014 he had married his longtime manager, Garry Kief, in a ceremony at their home in Palm Springs, California.

Even though a small group of fans and friends were aware of the marriage Manilow’s sexuality was not widely known, until now.

“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,” Manilow – the voice behind countless hits, such as Mandy, Copacabana and Looks Like We Made It – told People magazine.

He reveals keeping his sexual orientation a secret caused him tremendous stress and anxiety and for many years he remained afraid of his fans’ reaction.

“When I met Garry, that was even more of a reason to keep my life private,” said Manilow.

But he now concedes that his fears may have been unwarranted.

“When [the fans] 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.”

I’m happy that he finally felt comfortable enough to come out publicly, whether or not it was obvious beforehand. It’s just a shame that he felt like he had to hide his relationship for 39 years. But then again he comes from an era where coming out hurt your career, albeit we all knew he was gay.

Listen to his greatest hits:

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Pop legend Barry Manilow (right) kept it a secret for years, fearing his fans would be disappointed if the truth was revealed. But today, at the age of 73 and at the end of one of the longest and most successful careers in show business, Barry Manilow finally announced to...