Bee Gees’ singer Robin Gibb dies after cancer battle

May 21, 2012 in Entertainment, National Entertainment, News, Obituaries, The Buzz, Top Stories

Robin Gibb, (left) and his two brothers, Barry (center) and twin Maurice (right) formed the mega-successful group the Bee Gees in 1958. Originally called Brothers Gibb, the trio wrote and recorded number one hits for themselves and numerous other artists.

From Media Reports

Robin Gibb, one of three brothers who made up the disco group the Bee Gees, who was behind “Saturday Night Fever” and other now-iconic sounds from the 1970s, died Sunday, after a lengthy battle with cancer, his family said.

Gibb’s family said in a statement: “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,” the BBC reported.

Gibb’s death comes just three days after the loss of another major star of the 1970s disco era – Donna Summer – who died Thursday of lung cancer. Summer was 63.

British-born Gibb’s musical career began when he formed the Bee Gees with his brothers Barry and Maurice in 1958.

The group is among the biggest-selling of all time with hits spanning several decades, including: Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Massachusetts and Night Fever.

The only surviving member of the three Bee Gees is brother Barry, 65.

Robin’s twin brother, Maurice, died in 2003 from a twisted bowel. And younger brother Andy Gibb — who was not part of the group — died at 30 from a heart infection.

‘Phenomenal legacy’

The Gibb brothers were born in the Isle of Man but grew up in Manchester, later moving to Australia.

The Bee Gees notched up album sales of more than 200 million worldwide since their first hits in the 1960s.

“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,” one friend said. “Their accomplishments have been monumental.”

What is also noted is that not only did the Bee Gees write 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, Kenny Rogers and many others.

“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,” other friends said.

‘Thanks for the music’

Read, who was a family friend of Gibb, said: “He had a gift for melody and a gift for lyrics and left a phenomenal legacy, a phenomenal catalogue.”

Referring to the Bee Gees, he said: “They had every award, every gold disc, every platinum disc, the Grammys the lot and had been doing it so long but were still so good at it.”

A statement from Sony Music on Twitter said: “Rest in peace, Robin Gibb. Thanks for the music.”

He had battled ill health for several years.

In 2010, Gibb cancelled a series of shows after suffering from severe stomach pains while performing in Belgium. He went on to have emergency surgery for a blocked intestine.

He cancelled a series of shows in Brazil in April 2011, after again suffering from abdominal pains.

Later that year, he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon after having surgery on his bowel for an unrelated condition.

Press speculation

Gibb was later also diagnosed with cancer of the liver, and underwent chemotherapy and surgery.

His increasingly gaunt appearance prompted press speculation that he was close to death.

But in February he told the BBC that was making a “spectacular” recovery and he was feeling “fantastic”.

Last month the singer fell into a coma after contracting pneumonia.

After 12 days he regained consciousness and his son Robin-John said his father was “completely compos mentis”.

“He has beaten the odds… he really is something else,” Robin-John said at the time.