Michael Bublé Just Performed for The Bee Gees Member Who Helped Kickstart His Career
At The Kennedy Center Honors, the Canadian singer performed a touching tribute to Barry Gibb and told the story of his early-career encounter with the legendary artist.
Canadian crooner Michael Bublé performed a lush version of the Bee Gees’ 1971 hit “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” in tribute to songwriter and performer Barry Gibb, as part of the 46th Kennedy Center Honors, which recognize the lifetime achievements of exceptional artists. Gibb, who rose to fame with his brothers in The Bee Gees, was named an Honoree alongside rapper and actor Queen Latifah, singer Dionne Warwick, comedian Billy Crystal and opera performer Renée Fleming.
“Broken Heart” was the Bee Gees’ first U.S. No. 1, a gentle ballad written by Gibb and his brother Robin. Bublé’s performance maintained the song’s mournful quality, his crystal clear voice joined by a chorus of soft harmonies. Bublé leaned casually on the microphone stand during the performance while Gibb sang along from his seat. At the end, Bublé blew a kiss to Gibb and mouthed a message to him: “thank you.”
Before the performance, Bublé shared a story about the early days of his career, when he recorded a demo of “Broken Heart.” The demo found its way to Gibb, who not only gave Bublé advice, but provided backup vocals for Bublé’s recording of the song. His “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” reached No. 22 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 2003.
For Bublé, the rest is history; the singer has since notched eleven hits on the Hot 100, and his 2011 album Christmas recently returned to No. 1 in the UK (and finished at No. 58 on the Canadian year-end album chart).
With the Bee Gees, Gibb had nine No. 1 Hot 100 hits. The group sold 220 million records across more than four decades. He is one of the most successful songwriters of all time, equalling the Beatles’ record for six consecutive U.S. No. 1 singles, and a nine-time Grammy winner. Broadway performers Ben Platt and Ariana DeBose also performed tributes to Gibb at the Kennedy Center ceremony, with Platt taking on “Nights on Broadway” and DeBose helming a hits medley.
Also performing and speaking at the event were Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, Monie Love and D-Nice honouring Latifah; Cynthia Erivo, Chloe Bailey and Gladys Knight, honouring Warwick; Lin-Manuel Miranda, honouring Crystal; and Tituss Burgess and Christine Baranski, honouring Fleming.
Read more about the 46th Kennedy Center Honorees here.