Robin Gibb, one of three brothers who made the Bee Gees, died on Sunday, according to a statement on his website, writes CNN. He was 62.
“The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery,” says a statement released by the family’s spokesperson.
“The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
Born on the Isle of Man to English parents on 22 December, 1949, Gibb started out performing with his brothers Barry and Maurice (who died in 2003 due to complications from a twisted intestine) as a child act encouraged by their father Hugh, a band leader, and their mother Barbara, a former singer, informs Guardian.
In 1958 the family moved to Australia, where the brothers continued to perform and took the name Bee Gees, an abbreviation of brothers Gibb. They returned to the UK in the mid-60s and had their first major hit with New York Mining Disaster 1941, which reached the Top 20 in both the UK and US.
Popular hits of the band include How Deep Is Your Love, Stayin’ Alive, and Tragedy.
The Bee Gees skyrocketed to new heights with the 1977 release of “Saturday Night Fever,” a movie starring John Travolta that was built around the group’s falsetto voices and disco-friendly songs.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the Bee Gees sold more than 200 million albums.
Robin Gibb has had a history of health problems stemming from a 2010 liver and colon cancer diagnosis, reports The Huff Post.
Gibb fell into a coma last month after contracting pneumonia but his family later said he had “beaten the odds” just days after doctors said he “was in God’s hands”.
Gibb awakened from his coma in late April and was able to speak with his family members, though he was still reliant on an oxygen mask and intravenous feeding.
“Robin’s wife, Dwina and son, Robin-John, his son Spencer and daughter Melissa have been at his bedside every day, talking to him and playing his favorite music to him,” Gibb’s doctor, Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam said. “They have been tireless in their determination never to give up on him.”
News of Gibb’s death set off a torrent of reaction in social media. Queen’s Brian May issued a statement on his website.
“For me, the music of the Bee Gees really has peaks as high as any mountain ever climbed by a Pop/Rock group,” May said. “The Bee Gees will never be forgotten.”
Musician Bryan Adams lamented “another great singer dying too young” on Twitter. British band Duran Duran and current pop sensation Bruno Mars were among many who posted their condolences.
The Telegraph cites broadcaster Paul Gambaccini who said that Gibb was “talented beyond even his own understanding”.
Gambaccini said: “Everyone should be aware that the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music.
“Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, the list goes on and on.
“What must also be said is Robin had one of the best white soul voices ever. He was singing lead on his first number one when he was 17, that was Massachusetts.”