Barry Manilow, who's been in a loving relationship with husband/manager Garry Kief for just shy of 40 years, has come clean about his sexuality and explained why he spent decades in the closet.

Manilow's good friend Suzanne Somers first confirmed Manilow was gay and married during a 2015 episode of Watch What Happens Livebut today (April 5), Manilow spoke for himself, and told People that he remained closed off for so long out of fear. Many of his fans are adoring women, he noted, and he didn't want them to feel abandoned.

“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” he said, noting he was encouraged by how wrong he ultimately was. “When they 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.”

Manilow first met Kief in 1978 and the couple wed in 2014. Manilow noted that Kief is a "great guy" and the "smartest" person he's ever met.

“I knew that this was it,” Manilow recalled of meeting his partner. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”

Somers said during her WWHL appearance that she was thrilled Manilow had found happiness.

“They’re married and really happy, and I was there when it was announced and they’ve been together for 30 years,” she said. “I think it’s freeing for him. He’s one of the most incredible people and a true musical genius. I believe he is the Irving Berlin of our generation. The impact he has made on music is incalculable.”

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