Barry Manilow talks sexuality, marriage and music

Last week singer Barry Manilow popped into the ITV studios in London to chat with Lorraine Kelly about his career and personal life.

Legendary singer Barry Manilow spoke on Friday to former TV-am and GMTV personality Lorraine Kelly on her ITV morning show about about the reaction he received when he came out as gay, getting married, and giving up touring. The singer also spoke to Lorraine about the release of his latest album ‘This is My Town: Songs Of New York’ which is his 30th studio album.

The star who recently came out after years of worrying about announcing his sexuality, spoke of the positive reaction he had received from people.

“You know, I would have been surprised if it had been the other way, I know these people, I know they care about me, they really want me to be happy. I think this was great news for them.”

Barry, who has had numerous hits in the UK and stateside such as Mandy, I Write The Songs, Somewhere In The Night and Could It Be Magic,  also discussed marrying his long term partner. He told Lorraine;

 “I did, I got married, yeah, but it doesn’t matter because we’ve been together for going on 40 years – 40 years!”

Speaking about New York, which inspired his latest album, Manilow added, “When you’re born and raised in New York, you are always a New Yorker. I still talk fast, I walk fast, I think fast, you know, and when I get back to New York I feel like I’m home.” The singer, who is 73, also talked about performing. He said: “Well you know I’m not touring anymore, I think I made it pretty clear. I can’t go from city to city to city to city. I just can’t do that anymore. 40-some odd years of room service, you know? I can’t do it anymore but I do love the performing part so I’m going to do one-nighters.”

“Touring just got me, I’m not the only one, I’ve read so many people, you know, that have toured for a long time it finally gets to you, it really does.”

However fans may not need concern themselves with his health, he noted he feels ‘great’ and is ‘in great shape’. The Copacabana singer also paid tribute to his fans and talked about the early days of his career.

“I wouldn’t be here without them [the fans] you know when I started off back in the 1800s, feels like I’ve been here a million years, I was terrible, honestly Lorraine, I was awful. Because I never wanted to be a performer and I never even thought of singing. I already had a career as a music director, writing jingles back in the States so I was happy doing that and then suddenly I got a record deal because that was the year of the singer-songwriter and I sent out my demos of my songs for other people to sing but I got the record contract.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943 Barry first came into the spotlight writing commerical jingles in the 1960s, including for companies such as McDonalds, Pepsi, KFC and Dr Pepper. This lead to music arrangements, notably in the early days with singer Bette Midler. He released his debut album in 1973, simply titled Barry Manilow.

Lorraine Kelly presents her morning show Lorraine every weekday from 8.30am on ITV, STV and UTV.

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