Legendary singer Barry Manilow blessed the world with his talent but hid his truth from the world for many years. He first married a woman before committing to his second partner — a man who allegedly avoided marriage for about three decades.
Barry Manilow is one of the greatest singers of his time, recording and making hit tunes that have been passed down to generations. The singer was born in Brooklyn and was sure that music was his first love at a young age. His second love was his teenage lover, Susan Deixler, from Eastern District High School.
The high school sweethearts felt perfect for each other. Susan was an adorable lady with a voluptuous figure who fell for the guy voted the year's best musician in the school's yearbook. By 1964, the lovers wed, first, before the justice of the peace, and then, a rabbi, following the Deixlers' insistence.
Barry Manilow attends as NYU Tisch School of the Arts opens the "Clive Davis Gallery at NYU" on April 5, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York | Source: Getty Images
Despite their bond and the conviction that he was in love, Manilow's friends advised against the union; they believed it would fail and things won't go as he had dreamed. While addressing his marriage in his autobiography, the singer wrote:
"Even my friends thought I was rushing into it."
Sooner than expected, the singer proved them right about their doubts. After one year of marriage, Manilow left the woman he admitted was "the perfect wife" to build his musical career and work on himself. In his words:
"I was in love with Susan. I just was not ready for marriage."
All he was ready to do was explore, letting his first love lead while abandoning his new wife at home. Susan was not pleased with the whole situation, but she asked him to take only his clothes, to which Manilow objected.
Instead, he took his piano as well. According to the singer, he could not help but express his enthusiasm for "this wondrous musical adventure that he saw within his reach."
This led Susan to file for annulment from her first husband, who was lucky to find love again. Manilow's ex-wife never remarried. However, she has two kids, Pauline and Danny.
Even though she did not have another husband, Susan forgave her ex-partner. She remained quiet about their history, maintaining that she was a private person, but went ahead to wish him well. In her words:
"I'm glad that he had found love and happiness. I'm a private person, but I'm happy for him. I really am."
Manilow's former wife established a career in holistic healing. She lived a quiet and fulfilling life in Point Reyes Station, North of San Francisco, with a population of three hundred and fifty people.
The former partners share a close bond, and an insider confirmed that "Barry likes to check in and make sure she is doing all right. The love they had and still have is genuine."
BARRY MANILOW'S LOVE STORY AFTER LEAVING HIS FIRST MARRIAGE
Garry Kief and Barry Manilow attend the 2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala on February 15, 2016. | Source: Getty Images
Once Manilow headed out to explore his sound, he gave it all he got, producing songs that made it to the Billboard Charts. But amid the fame, the talented star felt lonely.
However, all that changed when he met with Garry Kief, who worked on TV. The pair met in 1978, and their connection was irresistible. Both men felt like they had found the missing pieces to their puzzles.
Garry Kief and Barry Manilow attend the wedding of Michael Feinstein and Terrence Flannery held at a private residence on October 17, 2008 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
Manilow never considered being gay, and neither did Kief, who had a daughter from a previous marriage to a woman. Although they worked in different parts of the entertainment industry, the men partnered together, as the singer needed Kief's business acumen.
Soon, the TV executive began to manage the "Barry Manilow Productions" and has since been in charge. Despite the years that have passed, the lovers continue to wax stronger, and Manilow is confident in his choice. According to the Mandy singer:
"He's the smartest person I've ever met in my life — and a great guy, too. I was one of the lucky ones."
BARRY MANILOW WAS UNAFRAID TO COME OUT AFTER MANY YEARS
Manilow's romance with Kief stayed a secret from the world for more than three decades. Although a few close pals knew there was a spark between the men, many did not.
The singer remained fiercely private, hiding his sexuality and shielding their romance until 2017, two years after the gossip mills churned news of their marriage.
Manilow admitted that it was both a blessing and a curse. When it was time to spill the beans, the hitmaker explained that he was scared of fans' judgment; however, to his amazement, they received him with open arms. He said:
"I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything. When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful."
Following people's support and words of encouragement, Manilow became more confident about sharing details about his love life.
While speaking on the secret to their longevity, the singer jokingly mentioned "separate bathrooms." Although they have only been married for nearly a decade, the pair have spent much of their lives together.
A source revealed Kief resisted marriage for as long as possible because he was scared of being disrespected and referred to as "Mrs. Manilow." However, in 2014, following his partner's health decline, he honored their relationship with the union.
It has been eight years since they decided to add a label to their relationship, and everything appears to be going well. Kief's respect remains intact, as fans have accepted and encouraged the couple.
Their relationship proves that love can happen the second time, becoming more binding than the first. Manilow confessed that he loved Susan, his first wife, but with Kief, he could escape the loneliness that would have salvaged his career.
Despite sharing bits and pieces of information about their love life, the couple is very much private, a formula that has preserved their love for many years.