Bee Gees Star Robin Gibb Dead at 62
Iconic British singer Robin Gibb lost his battle
with colon and liver cancer and passed away on 20 May. Gibb, who had a family history of the disease, was 62.
The sad news was
confirmed by his family in a statement that read, “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.”
Born in the Isle of Man, Gibb began his music career as a
teen when he joined forces with his twin brother Maurice and older sibling
Barry to form the Bee Gees.
The stars initially tasted fame in their adopted home of
Australia, where the family had moved in 1958, but they enjoyed a bigger share
of the spotlight when they returned to their native Britain in the late 1960s.
Their harmonies helped them score early hits with To Love Somebody,
Massachusetts and I Started A Joke, but Robin, a vibrato who shared lead vocals
with Barry, quit the band to embark on a solo career in 1969 after a
He enjoyed minor success in Europe with his track Saved
by the Bell, but his album, Robin's Reign, struggled to make much of an impact
on the charts and he decided to reunite with Barry and Maurice just a year
The trio's popularity began to wane and it wasn't until
the mid-1970s that they returned to prominence with the disco hit Jive Talkin'.
Follow-up tracks like How Deep Is Your Love, Stayin' Alive and Night Fever -
all from the bestselling Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack - cemented the
Bee Gees' place in history as one of the most successful acts of all time with
total record sales in excess of 220 million.
The Grammy Award winners disbanded in 2003 upon the death of Maurice Gibb, and
it wasn't until 2009 that Barry and Robin decided to reteam and occasionally
perform as the Bee Gees.
Robin, who had resumed his solo work, suffered a career
setback in August, 2010 when he was hospitalised with stomach pains after
performing in Belgium. He underwent emergency surgery for a blocked intestine -
the same condition which killed his brother Maurice.
He bounced back from the medical emergency, but his
health continued to cause him problems and he was forced to cancel a string of
appearances in 2011. In November, it was reported that Robin, who had been
pictured looking frail and gaunt, had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and he
confirmed the news in January this year, revealing that doctors had found a tumour
in his colon 18 months earlier, before the disease spread to his liver.
He underwent intensive chemotherapy treatment and spent
the first quarter of 2012 in and out of hospital due to various operations, but
managed to muster enough energy to return to the stage in February to perform
with military singers The Soldiers for London's Coming Home charity concert, in
support of injured servicemen.
In early April this year, Robin announced his cancer was
in remission, saying, "The results of my treatment have been spectacular -
that's the doctors' verdict. They're completely stunned by my progress and it
gets better all the time. The speed of the treatment and the results have
overwhelmed everybody. All the doctors have said so."
But days after declaring he was winning his health
battle, Gibb was back under doctors' care after falling ill with pneumonia and
slipped into a coma.
His condition was considered so serious, his brother
Barry flew to the UK from his home in Tennessee to join Robin's second wife
Dwina, their son Robin-John and his two children from his first marriage for a
Brave Robin stunned medics by making a "miraculous
recovery", and was set to undertake further chemotherapy sessions at the
time of his death.
Robin was made a Commander of the Order of the British
Empire (CBE) in Queen Elizabeth II's 2002 New Years Honours, an award he
collected in 2004 following Maurice's passing.
The star's seventh solo album, Titanic Requiem, written with
his son Robin-John and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was
scheduled for release in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship's
Tributes from other musical A-listers poured in quickly after news of Gibb's death spread. Duran Duran’s official Twitter page said, "Sorry
to hear about the passing of Robin Gibb of the BeeGees. Our condolences to his
friends and family."
Bryan Adams posted on his Twitter page, "Robin Gibb RIP. Very sad to
hear about yet another great singer dying too young."