Despite being one of the music industry’s biggest megastars, Barry Manilow has managed to keep many cards close to his chest over the years. He’s an intensely private person, but recently, the singer has started to open up on certain topics. During a 2023 interview, Manilow shed some fascinating light on a secret romance that kept him afloat in the early part of his career.
Growing up with a single mom
Barry Manilow has led no ordinary life. The legendary singer, whose birth name is Barry Alan Pincus, came into the world in the summer of 1943.
He spent his formative years in Brooklyn, New York, living with his mother, Edna Manilow. The future star resolved to adopt her surname after his dad, Harold Kelliher, had abandoned them.
Finding an outlet
Regardless of how emotionally difficult that period might’ve been, Manilow found an outlet. As a kid, he became fascinated with musical instruments, taking up both the piano and the accordion.
Yet his passion for music really exploded when he got to know his mom’s new husband. This proved to be a pivotal moment that significantly shaped the years to come.
“He changed my life”
“When my stepfather came into my life and brought with him a stack of albums…[it] may as well have been a stack of gold,” Manilow told People in April 2017.
“[It was] some of the greatest music you’ve ever heard: jazz, Broadway scores, great singers with great arrangements. He changed my life with just that little stack of records. My mother was very, very musical. So there was always great music in my house.”
“I became Mr. Popular”
And that love of music served Manilow well during his school years, too. He recalled, “I was miserable in high school! [But] when I found the orchestra class, then I became Mr. Popular, really.”
“I was voted best musician of the year, I formed my own band. But before that, I really didn’t know what to do because it was all about sports, and that’s not who I am.”