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'I had to sign a statement saying that if they needed to remove half my mouth I would let them do it,' he said later.
The news that Barry Manilow, the world's richest and most successful popular singer, has married his male manager, Garry Kief, at a secret wedding, may have stunned the legions of women who worship the 71-year-old icon's every move, but it is not likely to stop the traffic on Hollywood Boulevard.
For while many fans reacted on social media with broken-hearted shock — with one post reporting: 'my Mum can't stop crying about Barry' — there were many who had long suspected that, despite the star's decades of protestations to the contrary, the perma-tanned, disco-dancing smoothie was gay.
In 1982, he was bedridden in a Paris hotel with bronchial pneumonia, and was ordered by doctors to cancel a nine-concert European tour.
Then, in 1986, he was rushed into hospital in agony.
The tumour was removed, along with much of the bone surrounding it. As a result of the surgery, Manilow has had to undergo constant dental treatment ever since, but amazingly, his singing voice survived.