When Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John sang 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart' and it was spectacular

9 August 2022, 11:42

Olivia and Barry performed 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart' in Australia at Sound Relief in 2009
Olivia and Barry performed 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart' in Australia at Sound Relief in 2009. Picture: XYZNetworks/Youtube

By Giorgina Hamilton

Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John have given us some beautiful duets in their time, but this version of 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart' in 2009 may just beat all the others.

Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John were great friends and working partners since the '70s.

The pair grew up together in the spotlight and with their Australian backgrounds in common, it's unsurprising the duo were so close over the decades.

But one performance stands above all others when it comes to pure magical chemistry.

Olivia and Barry were performing in Australia at Sound Relief in 2009, a fundraising concert in aid of the Victorian bushfires, and joined Kylie Minogue, Toni Collette and even Princes William and Harry in supporting the cause on the night.

Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John have been great friends and working partners since the '70s. Pictured in 2009
Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John have been great friends and working partners since the '70s. Pictured in 2009. Picture: XYZNetworks/Youtube
Barry welcomed Olivia to the stage for a trio of stunning performances while describing the Grease icon as "the greatest female singer in the world"
Barry welcomed Olivia to the stage for a trio of stunning performances while describing the Grease icon as "the greatest female singer in the world". Picture: XYZNetworks/Youtube

The event was held simultaneously at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground and Barry Gibb headlined the Sydney event, performing many classic Bee Gees hits including 'Jive Talkin'' and 'You Should Be Dancing'.

In the middle of his set, Barry welcomed Olivia to the stage for a trio of stunning performances while describing the Grease icon as "the greatest female singer in the world" and "a true artist who I've admired all my life".

After wowing the crowd with duets of 'Islands In The Stream' and 'Guilty', Barry Gibb and Olivia then slowed the event down and proceeded to sing a stunning duet of the Bee Gees' heartbreaking 1971 hit, 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart'.

The footage comes after years of collaborations between Olivia Newton-John and the Gibb brothers.

Olivia famously first teamed up with Barry, Maurice, Robin and Andy Gibb at The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song, a gig held to raise money for world hunger programs and to mark the beginning of 1979's International Year of the Child.

Barry Gibb performs with Olivia Newton-John at 'The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song' benefit concert held at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on 9th January 1979.
Barry Gibb performs with Olivia Newton-John at 'The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song' benefit concert held at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on 9th January 1979. Picture: Getty

Taking to the stage on the night, Olivia sat opposite Andy Gibb on a high chair and gave a stunningly heartfelt performance of the delicate Bee Gees song 'Rest Your Love On Me'.

The incredible show culminated in a beautiful medley of Jackie DeShannon's 'Put A Little Bit Of Love In Your Heart' by Olivia, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind and Fire and Rod Stewart, and was recorded and televised the following day on NBC and across the world.

In the '80s Olivia and Barry Gibb teamed up for the duet 'Face to Face' in 1984 for Barry's solo Now Voyager album and as of 2021 the pair have collaborated once again, this time on a new country album by the oldest Gibb brother.

Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1 sees Barry performing duets with country superstars old and new, including a duet of 'Rest Your Love on Me' with his old friend Olivia Newton-John, 'I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You' with Keith Urban and 'Words' with country superstar, Dolly Parton.

Speaking about the new album Barry Gibb said: “From the first day we stepped into RCA Studios in Nashville (the very place where Elvis, Willie, Waylon, Roy, the Everly Brothers and so many other legends made their magic) the album took on a life of its own.

"I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to work with Dave and all the artists who stopped by. They were all incredibly generous with their time and talent.

"They inspired me more than words can express. I feel deep down that Maurice and Robin would have loved this album for different reasons. I wish we could have all been together to do it…but I think we were.”