Singer Barry Manilow has described his recent coming out as “a beautiful, beautiful experience.”

In a recent PEOPLE cover story, Manilow, 73, announced that he's gay and confirmed reports that he married manager Garry Kief in 2014.

At the 65th Annual BMI Pop Awards on Tuesday, Manilow was honored as a BMI Icon.

“The reason that it's special for me is that it's a song writer's award,” Manilow told the AP from the red carpet. “In my heart I am a composer.”

When asked about reaction to his coming out, Manilow alluded to National Enquirer reporting on his sexuality.

“I kind of got outed by the Enquirer, but it's turned out to be just great.” Manilow said. “I've really enjoyed it. Most of all because the fans and the public have been so supportive. I thought, 'Oh, man, you know, I'm going to get a lot of negative stuff.' Not one negative letter, comment anywhere. 'Cause, you know, these people, these strangers, they care for me.”

“Isn't it odd? I'm just a musician who sings. And these people care about my happiness. And that's what's been going on. It's been a beautiful, beautiful experience,” he added.