In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, Barry Manilow said coming out earlier would have “killed” his career.

The 75-year-old Manilow secretly married television executive Garry Kief in 2014. The couple started dating in 1978. He first discussed his marriage and sexuality in an interview with People in 2017.

“I went through many, many years when I couldn’t do that. It would have killed my career. Immediately,” Manilow said. “It was stupid then but it was true. Everybody knew it, we had to watch out for making a mistake. Not that everybody didn’t know, people are very smart. When I started, I knew I was gay, I had a hit record and I was on the cover of Teen Beat magazine. Now what do I do? I guess it became OK a couple of years ago.”

“I thought I wasn't hiding anything but I was also not publicizing it. If I publicized it, especially in the 70s and 80s – no way,” he said.

Manilow added that despite his fears he was overwhelmed with support.

“I knew [fans] would be okay with it,” he said. “All they ever cared about was my happiness. I think they were thrilled I had someone in my life like Garry.”

Manilow begins a 5-month engagement at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on May 23.