Barry Manilow has taken to the stage for the first time since he opened up about his sexuality.
The 73-year-old revealed during an interview with People magazine earlier this month (Apr17) that he is gay and married to his manager Garry Kief.
And as he took to the stage at New York City’s Town Hall for the Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out! on Tuesday night (18Apr17), Manilow was given a standing ovation from the crowd.
“I’m so happy to be home. I’m a New Yorker, I’m from Williamsburg, Brooklyn,” the singer told the audience. “I’m here to promote an album, my love letter to New York. So this week I’m a media sl*t. I’m all over the place. I’m so happy to be here. There’s no place like New York.”
Before performing his 1978 hit One Voice, he explained to the audience, “I wrote this in a dream. I don’t know how that happens. I wrote it in a dream and ran to the cassette machine. And I sang it through and the next morning, there it was.”
Manilow performed three times during the show, and he introduced one of his biggest hits Mandy by joking: “This was the very first one that was so successful. We released it in 1821.”
He also sang a medley of his hits including Can’t Smile Without You, Copacabana, Even Now, and Weekend in New England.
Manilow then surprised the crowd by performing My Country, ‘Tis of Thee and Let Freedom Ring to close the concert.
Other acts who performed included Tony Award nominee Vanessa Williams, her Ugly Betty co-star Michael Urie, Andy Cohen, and two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera.
The monthly event raises money for organizations in that protect civil rights, women’s health and environmental issues.
Manilow had told People that he hid his sexuality, including his 39-year-long relationship with Kief, because he was worried about “disappointing” his predominantly female fan base, and also because he is a very “private” person.
The Copacabana hitmaker met TV executive Kief in 1978, and the couple wed in secret at their Palm Springs home in April 2014.