Australian Celebrities

Inside Jimmy Barnes and wife Jane’s romantic love story

Jimmy met Jane in 1979, six years after he’d joined Cold Chisel.
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Jimmy Barnes’ face lights up with joy whenever he talks about “my girl” – aka his gorgeous wife, Jane.

With his strong and famous husky voice overflowing with warmth, it seems that even after all these years the legendary rocker still can’t believe he struck so lucky in love.

The couple got married on May 22, 1981. Jimmy’s 43-year union with Jane is one he celebrates often.

Most recently, Jimmy paid tribute to Jane on their 43rd wedding anniversary, penning the tribute: “43 years married and we both forgot that our anniversary was today. It doesn’t matter though because everyday is special to us. I love you my darling.”

Jimmy, 68, met Jane in 1979, six years after he’d joined Cold Chisel. A self-professed maths and languages “nerd” who was studying at university in Canberra, Jane rarely dated and was more comfortable at the university’s chess club than in a nightclub.

“I’d met a lot of girls in my life, but no one had ever stopped me in my tracks like that girl did,” Jimmy wrote in his memoir, Working Class Man. “She was way out of my class, but I loved her from the minute I saw her. Jane would change my life.”

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Jimmy said Jane ‘saved his life’. (Credit: Instagram)

The two could not have been more unalike. Jane had a privileged upbringing. Her Thai mum remarried an Australian diplomat and she grew up in Rome, Moscow, Canberra, Tokyo, and Thailand. In comparison, Jimmy grew up in a slum in Glasgow, Scotland, which had been infamous for poverty and violence.

“It made me sad to think that had happened to someone who I loved so much,” Jane said after her husband released his searing autobiography detailing his childhood and rise to fame. “It’s a huge journey that he’s been on and thank God he’s done it.”

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“She was way out of my class, but I loved her from the minute I saw her.” (Credit: Instagram)

It’s a journey of extreme highs and lows she has shared for more than 40 years, never wavering in her devotion to Jimmy and their children, proudly describing her profession as a “wife, mum, and grandmother”.

Their relationship has weathered a financial crisis – which forced them to sell their beloved home in the NSW Southern Highlands – as well as addiction issues with alcohol and drugs which saw them both seek help after a family intervention 20 years ago.

“He is the love of my life,” Jane simply said.

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Jane performed on stage with Jimmy at one of his concerts in April 2024. (Credit: Instagram)

The past few years have seen a shift in their relationship after COVID-19 left Jimmy unable to perform. He and Jane, like many other Aussies, were locked in their home. It tested many relationships but only brought them closer together.

Jane even learned how to play the guitar and the two of them, often supported by various family members, started the Jane Barnes Band, performing in their lounge room and sharing what they filmed on social media to bring everyone a bit of joy.

They sang over 100 songs and had more than 100 million people tuning in to watch over the course of two years. Jane, who also plays the bagpipes and a tin flute, even recorded a duet called ‘Love Hurts’ on Jimmy’s new album, Flesh and Blood.

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These days, it’s a family affair for Jimmy Barnes. (Credit: Instagram)

It’s a song that Jimmy said was inspired by a turning point in their relationship when he decided to “lay everything on the table, all the good, all the bad and the horrible” and ask for a new start – one Jane embraced with love.

Jane, who firmly believes in the power of positivity and kindness, and Jimmy now share much of their home life with their Aussie fans on their social media platforms. It’s a madhouse of family and friends filled with laughter and warmth.

And as to the one-time hard-drinking rock legend? Well, he now proudly shows off the roses, hydrangeas, zucchini, and squash he grows in their rambling garden in Bowral, NSW.

Jimmy’s also mastering the art of the pavlova.

Although they are opposites in many respects, Jimmy and Jane share a love of food and music, which she said is the language of the soul. They celebrate this in their cookbook, Where the River Bends.

“Now we live at the end of a rainbow,” said Jimmy, “where the river bends.”

Keep scrolling for Jane and Jimmy’s cutest moments…

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These two are adorable together! (Credit: Instagram)

In January 2024, the musician shared a heartwarming birthday tribute to his wife on his social media accounts, with an accompanying throwback snap of the two lovebirds. 

“Happy birthday to my @jane13barnes. I love you more each day. I know I am blessed because I’m spending this life with you. You are so full of life and love and joy and I hope you have the best birthday ever.” 

Awww!

The couple seem just as in love as they were 43 years ago!

The two love to do their morning swims together and have had this routine for a few years now! Jimmy posts about their morning swims to Instagram quite regularly. 

“Swimming gets us through the week,” he writes.

“I can’t do without my morning swims these days… now that it’s getting warmer, I love my naps on the verandah too. Working out and recovering.”

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Jimmy and Jane and their morning swims. (Credit: Instagram)

In February 2022, he wished his “darling girl” a happy Valentine’s Day in a public declaration of love to his 224,000 Instagram followers, but went one better on Jane’s 64th birthday in January that same year when he serenaded her with The Ronettes’ famous song, ‘Be My Baby’.

Jane, a seemingly ageless beauty, played guitar and gazed lovingly into Jimmy’s eyes as a large contingent of their family – which includes seven children, and a growing number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren – gathered around to celebrate the milestone. The lyrics seemed particularly poignant.

“The night we met I knew I needed you so. And if I had the chance, I’d never let you go,” Jimmy sang.

“So won’t you say you love me. I’ll make you so proud of me … So won’t you please (Be my, be my baby).”

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