Robin Gibb, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who found worldwide success as a member of the Bee Gees, the group he founded with brothers Maurice and Barry, has died. He was 62.
Known for such classic hits as “How Deep Is Your Love?” and “Stayin’ Alive,” Gibb made headlines in recent months for his public battles with colon and liver cancer. On April 14, Gibb had been hospitalized in London after falling into a coma, but a little over a week later, he miraculously woke up. By April 30, he was up and learning to walk again. But on the evening of May 20, family spokesman Doug Wright released a statement saying he had succumbed.
“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.”
Robin is survived by his brother Barry, the eldest of the Bee Gees’ three founders. Robin’s twin, Maurice, died in 2003, effectively ending a group that, over its remarkable 40-plus-year run, sold more than 220 million albums.
Initially a pop-rock act based in Australia — where they lived from 1958 through 1967, when they returned to their native United Kingdom — the brothers Gibb hit their commercial peak in the 1970s, emerging as disco icons. Their soundtrack to the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever has sold more than 15 million copies and remains synonymous with the era.
In addition to their memorable melodies, the Gibbs specialized in tight three-part harmonies — a sound made all the more distinct by Barry’s inimitable falsetto.
The Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and while there had been talk of a reunion following Maurice’s death, the group’s final album, This Is Where I Came In, was released in 2001.
Robin suffered from abdominal ailments throughout his later years, and in 2010, he underwent surgery for a blocked intestine, the same condition that killed Maurice. In November of last year, shortly after an emergency hospitalization, Robin claimed to be feeling better and dreaming of a return to the stage.