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Bee Gees star Robin Gibb dies aged 62: family

21 may 2012, 14:23
0
Star member of the Bee Gees, Robin Gibb. ©AFP
Star member of the Bee Gees, Robin Gibb. ©AFP
Robin Gibb, singer with the legendary British band the Bee Gees, died on Sunday aged 62 after a lengthy battle against cancer, AFP reports citing his family.

"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," said a family statement.

Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb scaled the heights of the pop world in the 1970s with disco hits including "How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin' Alive", and "Night Fever".

The band notched up record sales of more than 200 million since their first hits in the 1960s.

Gibb underwent bowel surgery 18 months ago for an unrelated condition but a tumour was found and he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and the liver.

Back in February, Gibb said he had made a "spectacular" recovery from his treatment, sparking hopes that his cancer was in remission, but recently experienced a sharp deterioration.

The singer fell into a coma last month after contracting pneumonia, but had raised hopes of survival after making another recovery.

Fellow musicians took to microblogging website Twitter to pay their respects.

Canadian rocker Bryan Adams wrote: "Robin Gibb RIP. Very sad to hear about yet another great singer dying too young."

Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall called Gibb a "musical giant" while eighties stars Duran Duran passed on their condolences to his family.

A statement released by Sony Music said: "Rest in peace, Robin Gibb. Thanks for the music."

Gibb was born on December 22, 1949 on the Isle of Man, the British crown dependency, about half an hour before Maurice.

Soon after the twins were born, the Gibb family moved to Manchester, northwest England, and then to Brisbane in Australia in 1958.

The Bee Gees soon became child stars and had their first hit in 1963, "The Battle of the Blue and Grey", performed on national television.

Andy Gibb, their younger brother who was not in the Bee Gees, died in 1988 from cocaine addiction and Maurice died of a heart attack in 2003 following intestinal surgery.

"I sometimes wonder if all the tragedies my family has suffered -- like Andy and Maurice dying so young and everything that's happened to me recently -- is a kind of karmic price we are paying for all the fame and fortune we've had," he told The Sun newspaper in March.

The singer and his wife-to-be Molly Hullis survived the 1967 Hither Green rail crash in southeast London that killed 49 people.

"I know what it is to live through a mass disaster... it haunts me to this day," he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper in January.

DJ Paul Gambaccini called Gibb "talented beyond even his own understanding".

"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," he said.

"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."

Gibb was married twice, to Molly Hullis from 1968 to 1980, and to author/artist Dwina Murphy-Gibb and is survived by three children; Spencer, Melissa and Robin-John.

He was made a CBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List, along with his brothers.

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