Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb, who with brothers Barry and Maurice helped define the disco era with their falsetto harmonies and funky beats on smash hits such as “Stayin’ Alive” and “Jive Talkin’” has died after a long fight with cancer. He was 62.
Robin had surgery on his bowel 19 months ago for an unrelated condition, but during this, a tumour was discovered and he was diagnosed with colon and, subsequently, liver cancer. It had been thought his cancer was in remission recently, but the latest deterioration in his health coincides with reports of a secondary tumour. The father-of-three, despite brief improvements in his health in recent months, passed away on Sunday evening. “The family of Robin Gibb announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery,” a statement posted on his official website said.
Hundreds of tributes poured on to the Twitter micro-blogging site, including from record labels and fellow musicians, and at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, the show was stopped for a moment of silence as a large black-and-white picture of Robin was displayed against the stage’s backdrop.
Neil Portnow, chief executive of Grammy organisation the Recording Academy, said the six-time winner of the industry’s highest award, “had an indelible impact on music. His distinctive vibrato voice was part of the trio’s signature harmony.”
According to dailymail.co.uk, Robin’s twin brother and bandmate Maurice died from the same bowel condition. His younger brother Andy, who was not part of the Bee Gees but a successful singer in his own right, died in 1988 from heart failure at 30. Robin is survived by his wife Dwina and three children; Spencer and Melissa from his first marriage and a son, Robin-John, from his second.
(With additional information from dailymail.co.uk)
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
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