Veteran pop star Robin Gibb, one third of the legendary Bee Gees, has lost his battle with cancer, aged 62.
A statement released by the Gibb family says, ”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 family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
The Brit-born brothers Gibb came to prominence in Queensland first on radio then on television in the early 1960s, with their unique harmonies and melodies that would define an international career. It was singer Col Joye who helped them get a record deal with Festival Records subsidiary, Leedon Records, in 1963 under the name “Bee Gees.”
Their first major hit was Spicks and Specks. After an audition with entrepreneur Robert Stigwood in February 1967, they were signed to a five-year contract heading towards international success.
Other hits followed with New York Mining Diasaster 1941, To Love Somebody, Massachusetts, World, Words, How Can You Mend a Broken heart, Run to Me, Lonely Days -but it was the soundrtack to Saturday Night Fever that catapulted them into pop history in 1977.
Their songs Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, If I Can’t Have You, More Than a Woman helped define the disco era notching up 40 million albums sold -still the 4th highest-selling album ever. At one point in 1978, the Gibb brothers were responsible for writing and/or performing 9 of the songs in the Billboard Hot 100. They went on to write for Grease and other artists including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick,, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
While the Bee Gees have performed on countless television music shows and specials including Countdown, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, the Grammy Awards, Top of the Pops, Bandstand and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, their songs have been heard on a multitude more: Glee, Saturday Night Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20 to 1, Dancing with the Stars, Sex and the City, CSI: NY, The Dame Edna Treatment, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Office, This Life, Chicago Hope, The Simpsons, The A-Team, The Jeffersons, The Muppet Show, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour and more. Gibb also appeared in 20 episodes of the 2010 series Say Yes to the Dress.
There have been over 6,500 cover versions of Bee Gee songs, with 200 million albums sold worldwide. They are inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, ARIA Hall of Fame, and have awards from the American Music Awards, Brit Awards, Grammys, ARIAs, World Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Today the Billboard Music Awards will take place in LA.
Gibb’s twin brother Maurice died of a heart attack in 2003 following intestinal surgery.