The 73-year-old singer has not previously talked about his sexuality, even though it was reported that he married Kief in 2014.
“I thought I would be disappointing [the fans] if they knew I was gay, so I never did anything,” he told People.
His fans’ reaction was not at all what he expected. “When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy,” he said. “The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”
Many people on social media were very supportive of Manilow’s announcement.
Others were offended by some reactions towards the “Copacabana” singer’s news.
Manilow and Kief married in 2014 in a private ceremony at their Palm Springs home. It was so secret, news of the event didn’t surface for an entire year.
The pair had been together for three decades before they tied the knot. They met in 1978, and Kief became Manilow’s manager.
“This is my life, we’ve been together for all these years,” Manilow told Entertainment Tonight. “Everybody knows that we’re a team. Everybody that I know knows. So, it never really dawned on me to say anything about it. I mean, I’m a very private guy.”
“I knew that this was it. I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that… He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too,” Manilow told People of his husband.
Manilow had a brief marriage to Susan Deixler in 1964 and Kief has a daughter from a previous marriage.
“I was in love with Susan,” he said. “I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
This isn’t the first time a music artist has hid their sexual orientation from the world.
Singer Ricky Martin declared himself as a “fortunate homosexual man” in 2010 after years of public speculation that he’s gay.
He came out on his website, saying that the birth of his two sons and writing his memoirs led to his decision.
Manilow is currently promoting his upcoming album “This Is My Town: Songs of New York.”