Over the course of his career, Barry Manilow has demonstrated that he is a charming and contagious vocalist who is able to write songs that practically everyone in the world can’t help but sing. Even though critics didn’t initially think he was that excellent, he became a household name in the 1970s thanks to The Mandy and Copacabana (At the Copa).
Manilow came out as gay at the age of 73, revealing that he had kept a major secret for a significant portion of his life. But as of right now, he is more content than ever and is living his greatest life with his daughter, Garry, and his husband.
Here’s all you need to know about Barry Manilow – and how he looks today.
Despite the fact that Manilow has been a global favorite, there have been some who have wondered if he has had plastic surgery. The 78-year-old Brooklyn native isn’t hesitant to speak the truth, so there.
Barry Manilow was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 17, 1943. His paternal grandfather immigrated to Russia; Barry, whose father is Irish, is actually also half-Russian.
But from a young age he had been instructed not to talk about that.
“The fact that Harold was an Irish truck driver was hidden from the family,” Barry told the Irish Independent.
“It was considered a terrible thing for my mother to have done. They wouldn’t even allow my name to be Kelliher. They changed it immediately.”
He added: “When I was born, I was called Barry Pincus. They had to dig deep into my father’s family to find one Jewish relative. They went back to the 1800s and they found one uncle, a Jewish guy called Pincus. My mother made my father change his name to Pincus.”
Manilow’s parents divorced when he was still a baby, thus he was reared by his mother Edna and his grandparents. Only a few weeks prior to his Bar Mitzvah, he legally assumed the Manilow surname.
Barry Manilow’s grandparents called his father a “monster,” but they were fans of his mother’s next boyfriend, who served as Barry’s musical influence. Willie Murphy, an Irish truck driver, apparently had a sizable record collection and let Barry listen to it often.
Additionally, his mother and stepfather ultimately made the decision to pool their resources to spend $800 on a piano for Manilow, which alone took them five years to pay off. It was a testament to how much his mother and stepfather loved him; fortunately, we now know that he was able to repay them all.
Barry enrolled at the City College of New York before attending the New York College of Music. After studying musical theater at the Juilliard School, he went on to work for CBS as a log clerk.
Manilow also encountered his first love around this time. He married Susan Deixler, his high school sweetheart, in 1964 when he was 21 years old.
Just a few months had passed since their graduation, which, in Barry’s opinion, was far too soon to settle down.
“I was in love with Susan,” he said, describing her as adorable, small with “great legs and a voluptuous figure.”
Manilow added: “I just was not ready for marriage, I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats. I was too young, I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
Barry seems to have experienced a completely different dream. He vowed to do whatever it took to fulfill his ambition of working in the entertainment industry.
Manilow was willing to risk everything for a chance to get into the entertainment world, which surely seemed ridiculous at the time. He spent several years producing music and finding work as a commercial writer. He had the good fortune to appear in a Dr. Pepper commercial, which, in his words, “paid the rent for years.”
However, You Deserve a Break Today, which Manilow performed for a McDonald’s commercial, became his big break. Looking back, he now believes that starting a business writing advertisements was the best choice he ever made.
“When I lucked into writing commercials, the only way you can go up against other songwriters when you’re going for a commercial is to write the catchiest melody you can write in fifteen seconds, and if you don’t write the best one, then another songwriter will get the commercial,” Barry explained.
“And my instinct is always to write catchy melodies. I just like doing it. And so when I started to do jingles, I won a lot of them because my melodies were catchier than the other guys’ melodies.”
Hee added: “But it was very helpful because when I found myself in the pop music world writing pop songs, which like I say I never really thought about doing, pop music is all about catchy melodies and hooks and choruses…Well, learning how to do that while I was writing commercials was very helpful when i wound up writing pop songs.”
“What I learned most of all in my jingle days was how to write a catchy melody,” Manilow said.
In 1973, Barry would finally be able to record his debut album. Since no musicians had expressed interest in the songs he had provided them, he decided to self-release them. Barry Manilow’s self-titled debut album didn’t immediately become a hit, but a year later, he would become a huge sensation.
“I would send my songs out but nobody wanted them because they wanted to do their own songs,” he told the Independent.
“I made my first album and it was good but I thought that was the end of that, but then Clive Davis [producer] came in and he found Mandy for me.”
Clive Davis, the head of Arista Records, claimed to have found a song by Brandy that might work for Barry. The song was originally a rock ‘n’ roll song, so Manilow, who was young at the time, wasn’t sure what to do with it.
“In order to learn Brandy, I had slowed it down and — just because I wanted to — I’d changed the chords around and put in a key change,” Barry said in his Emmy Interview.
“But then I forgot about it and played Clive the rock-and-roll song. But now, I went to the piano and played him the ballad version of Brandy with my key and chord changes.
He said, ‘Do that. And we can’t use Brandy. Sing Mandy.’ There had been a hit record called Brandy out two years earlier: “Brandy, you’re a fine girl….” So we changed the name. I played the slow version, we put a small band behind it and added Mandy to that second album. And my life changed.”
Just as Barry said, Mandy changed his life forever. It went straight to No.1 on the charts, and Manilow followed it up with songs such as I Write the Songs, Could It Be Magic, and the legendary Copacabana (At the Copa).
Barry had ten No. 1 singles and five albums on the best-selling charts at once in 1978, just five years after the release of his debut album. He had also received other honors, such as Grammy and Tony Awards, and along the road had won the hearts of an entire generation. His admirers were known as “Fanilows.”
It should go without saying that we’ve seen many examples of sudden fame turning toxic throughout history. In Barry’s case, though, it was important for him to embrace fame in a way that he never let it go out of control. That meant looking beyond himself.
“I’ve learned over the years that at the beginning of your life it’s all about me, me, me. ‘Look at me, look what I can do, look how great I am’,” he says. “Then somewhere in the middle, mid-30s or maybe later for me, you realise that now it’s gotta go the other way,” he explained.
“The arrows have to stop pointing towards yourself. They have to flip around and point out — and that’s not just for a performer, that’s for everybody. If you wind up being 40 years of age still showing everybody how great you are, it’s very unbecoming.”
Years before Barry’s big break, he and his wife Susan Diexen divorced. They were married only two years before he walked out on what he said was “the perfect wife” to pursue “this wondrous musical adventure.”
Manilow has been a performer for many years and has a long career. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his estimated net worth is $100 million.He was not, however, unburdened as he moved. It turns out that Barry spent the majority of his adult life hiding a significant secret.
Manilow finally came out as gay in 2017 at the age of 73. Undoubtedly, considering his advanced age, this was a brave choice. He already had Garry Kief as a partner at the time.
The couple wed in 2014 at their Palm Springs home. Even the guests were in the dark about their attendance at their wedding because it was such a great secret. Apparently, Barry and Garry first spoke to one another in 1978. He serves as Barry Manilow’s manager in addition to being the company’s president now.
“I knew that this was it,” Barry recalled of meeting Garry for the first time. “I was one of the lucky ones, I was pretty lonely before that.”
It wasn’t an easy choice for Barry to come out as gay. He was worried that coming out sooner would have hurt his career and “disappointed” his supporters, particularly the women. It turned out to be the exact reverse, though.
“Well if I had done it much earlier, I think it would have affected my career a lot. But by the time Garry and I decided to do it, being gay and being alive was accepted, so nothing changed,” Barry explained.
“Nothing’s changed. The only thing that is different is people are very happy for me,” he added.
“People just wanted me to be happy and when I said I had someone in my life, they were happy for me and there was no negativity and all. I kind of expected that and these people are great, it’s great.”
Along with living with his beloved Garry, Manilow had the privilege of raising Kristen, his husband’s biological daughter. Some could contend that having a partner who manages your relationship poses risks to your personal life. But Barry and Garry manage to pull it off.
“That’s the miracle of this relationship. It’s a relationship built on respect, and we’ve never bumped heads about anything,” Manilow said.
“Garry’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met. He’s a great manager. He takes care of my career on the business level, and I take care of the music, and we plan out what we want to do together. It’s about two guys who made it through 40 years.
“Maybe [coming out] will make people feel good. Maybe it will inspire some young people that they can do it, too. [Ours] has been a very positive love story. We’re still talking to each other!”
Over the years, Barry has also drawn attention due to a matter entirely separate to his music or private life.
It has frequently been rumored and conjectured that Manilow has undergone eye surgery, a facelift, and Botox injections to firm up his face. He acknowledged that it was the case in an interview with the Irish Independent.
Barry mentioned having a treatment to get rid of his jowls, but they quickly returned. That sort of thing is not durable. Then, many years ago, I joined everyone else in LA who was rushing to get Botox. I tried it, but I just wasn’t a fan. I didn’t think it looked proper.
Said Youn, a plastic surgeon, claimed that Manilow’s face had undergone “too much work” in 2011. Barry, though, claims that it is “ridiculous” to imagine that he is the “Joan Rivers of the guys.” He cites the fact that his face has been altered by many surgeries as one possible cause.
“I’ve had this nasty hip problem for the last ten years,” he said. “I’ve had three surgeries, the last one four months ago. I didn’t want to limp out on stage at the Grammys, and the only way I got any relief was by steroid shots right into my hips. But then your face blows up and looks odd.”
Barry appeared on the British morning show This Morning just days ago and he was almost unrecognizable. But how can he look so youthful?
“It’s luck, it’s just blind luck,” Barry said, laughing.
“I’m really very old, please let’s not talk about it. It’s really depressing.”
True icon Barry Manilow deserves respect for having the guts to come out as gay so late in his life. To honor him, kindly ask your friends and family to share this article on Facebook.