EXCLUSIVE: Barry Manilow on Feeling Reluctant to Talk About Relationship With Garry Kief, the Price of Fame
By Antoinette Bueno
Barry Manilow wants to remain as private as he can about his relationship with husband Garry Kief.
ET sat down with the 73-year-old music legend, where he talked about marrying his manager and longtime partner in April 2015. Although Manilow said he's proud of their relationship -- which has lasted nearly 40 years -- he also explained why his fans won't be getting too much more out of the couple.
"You know, the fact that Garry and I are in the public, that's fine," Manilow told ET's Cameron Mathison. "But nothing is going to change. We still are very private guys -- and I'm still a private guy -- and ... it will stay that way."
"We're still the same and we've been ... I'm very happy," he continued.
Manilow said it never even "really dawned" on him to talk about their relationship to the public.
"We've been together for all these years," he explained. "Everybody knows that we're a team. Everybody that I know knows. And I don't even like people knowing the names of my dogs, you know? So, for the public to get that close was really, very, very -- it was strange -- that we were even talking about it. But I don't mind at all. I'm proud of it, I am. I'm proud of it."
As for the biggest price of fame, Manilow said it sometimes hindered possibly great friendships.
"I think I could have made friends with a lot of people, but that fame thing got in the way," Manilow mused. "Or, you know, there were more times that I shake hands with people and they're a little afraid of me or whatever. They're impressed with the image. The image comes in first, and then if they stay long enough they get to know, 'Oh, he is a person behind that image that you might like.' And I think I've lost some really great possible friends because fame, it got in the way."
Still, Manilow got emotional when talking about his dedicated fans.
"I could not be more grateful for 45 years of sticking with me," he said. "Really, if you read what they write to me on Facebook, you would go for the Kleenex too. And these are strangers. It's like reading stuff from my family. They all just care for me so much, and they've been that way ever since the very beginning."
"And I thought, 'Well, maybe everybody gets that.' But I don't think everybody gets that," he added. "I think I've got some great people who have been with me for 40-something years, and I could not have been more grateful for them. They have given me my career. It's all about them. I try every night to give them the greatest entertainment I'm capable of doing."