In a new interview, the 73-year-old music icon opened up about his life now and candidly revealed why he hid his sexuality from the public for so many years.
“I thought I would be disappointing [my fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Barry recently told People. “I’m so private. I always have been.”
The “Copacabana” singer first began his showbiz career in the early 1960s writing advertising jingles for companies including State Farm Insurance and Band-Aid. In 1971, Barry produced Bette Midler’s first two albums and rose to mega-fame just three years later with his debut hit, “Mandy.”
Barry and his husband, Garry, in February 2016.
Before his days as a music legend, Barry tied the knot with his high school sweetheart, Susan Deixler, but he annulled the marriage after just one year. “I was in love with Susan, I just was not ready for marriage,” he said of their union. “I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”
Years later, Barry found love again with TV executive Garry — who later became the singer’s manager — in 1978. “He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too,” Barry said.
“[When we met], I knew that this was it,” he continued. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”
Garry and Barry in February 2016.
Though the couple have now been an item for 39 years, Barry admitted their relationship hasn’t always been easy due to his success in the music industry. “I [once] got into the car with him, and [my fans] were rocking the car. He was like, ‘I can’t handle this. It’s not for me.’ I’m glad he stayed,” Barry said.
After hiding their romance for nearly four decades, Barry and Garry secretly tied the knot in April 2014 after same-sex marriage became legal. Months later, their union made headlines, a moment which Barry recalled as being both “a blessing and a curse.”
“When [my fans] 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,” Barry said.