'Mandy' singer Barry Manilow admits he never wanted to be a singer but instead wanted to compose songs and arrange for other artists.
Barry Manilow admits he didn't want to sing or perform when he started out.
The music icon has had a career spanning more than 50 years with hits such as 'Mandy' and 'Copacabana' embedded in popular culture.
But despite his incredible success, Manilow insists he only ever wanted to be a songwriter behind the scenes.
Speaking on UK TV show 'This Morning', the 73-year-old star said: ''It was exciting when I started. I started just playing piano and I didn't want to sing or perform. I was always going to be in the background, composing or arranging, any of that. I went to school for that. It was the year of the singer/songwriter with people such as Carole King. I had made a demo of my songs hoping other people will sing them but I then got a record deal.''
When he landed his first record deal, Manilow shared his happy news with his friend Bette Midler, whom he has worked with on a number of records, and she was shocked to hear he was going to put himself out there as an artist.
He recalled: ''Bette said, 'Doing what? You don't sing.' I got my first album. It was a big surprise for everyone.''
Decades later the singer is still going strong and has just released his new album 'This Is My Town: Songs of New York' and although he doesn't want to tour any more he doesn't want to quit music.
Manilow - who is performing three concerts at The O2 in London in September 2018 - said: ''I don't want to stop. I will still be doing one nighters and maybe even coming back to London.
''I'm just getting off the road. It just got to me. I remember we finally got to another hotel in another city and I just said, 'I can't do this any more'. My fans are incredibly dedicated. I am going to meet them at record signings. I don't have an answer to what my fans in see but I am happy they do.''
The New Yorker now lives with his husband and partner of 40 years Garry Kief - whom he married in 2014 - in Palm Springs and is enjoying the peace and quiet away from the limelight.
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