Only a few months after losing his last brother, Robin, to cancer in 2012, Barry Gibb took to the Grand Ole Opry stage with one of the most heartfelt performances in Opry history.
Gibb formed the Bee Gees with his younger brothers Robin and Maurice in 1958. The Bee Gees eventually became the sixth best-selling musical acts of all time, behind legends like Elvis and Garth Brooks.
Gibb very publicly struggled with the loss of his brothers Maurice, Robin and Andy (not in the group), as well as his father. Gibb credits longtime friend and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs with helping him get through the loss.
“This is a great community of people here in Nashville,” Skaggs said while standing next to Gibb on stage. “We have a tendency to love hard. I think we’ve got room in our town and room in our heart for you and (wife) Linda.”
When a crowd member interjected to pay tribute to the late Robin, Gibb smiled and said, “He’s here — they’re all here.”
Gibb credits country music to a lot of the Bee Gees’ songwriting success. He has been a longtime fan of the genre, but also played a big part in its popularity. Gibb and his brothers wrote one of the most successful country songs of the ’80s, “Islands in the Stream,” and he produced a Kenny Rogers album more than 30 years ago.
He also teamed up with Ricky Skaggs on a record in 2012. Gibb has been traveling to Nashville for a long time — even famously purchasing Johnny Cash’s old home in 2006 before it tragically burned down prior to Gibb moving.
Gibb and Skaggs performed the Bee Gees first U.S. No. 1 and 1971 hit “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” lending an entirely new meaning to the performance in light of the Gibb family’s recent losses.