Barry Manilow recently looked back on the early years of his music career, as well as opened up about the difficulties of hiding his sexuality in the past.
The 80-year-old American singer-songwriter has maintained a successful career for more than 50 years, however, he didn’t public come out as gay until 2017 when he shared about his relationship with husband Garry Kief in an interview with People.
He was previously married to ex-wife Susan Deixler from 1964 to 1966, then he later on tied the knot with Kief in 2014. More recently, Manilow revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that it was a “burden” to hide his sexuality, but he believes that it was what he needed to do for the sake of his career.
“I didn’t want my career to go away. I love it. I’m grateful for it. But it was a burden to keep it quiet,” he admitted.
The “Mandy” singer added,
“I was always worried. Every interview: ‘They’re going to ask me whether I’m gay or not.’ Nobody ever did, by the way. They never asked me the $64 question.”
Moreover, he also shared about performing at Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in the basement of what was formerly The Ansonia Hotel, back in the early 1970s. When the outlet asked if he realized anything about his sexuality during his time performing at the gay bathhouse, Manilow said that he “wasn’t sure about that” at that point in his life.
“There were a lot of us in the world that had yet to figure it out,” he further stated.
The “Somewhere Down the Road” singer was then pressed about the topic, to which he responded with:
“What do you think, they were f**king in front of us?”
“They were just an audience. A great audience, too. It’s unusual, I agree. But for me, it was a job for 75 bucks,” Manilow shared about the gay bathhouse patrons who were often naked or simply wore towels while watching the performers onstage.