Robin Gibb, founding member and lead singer of the Bee Gees, has died following a lengthy battle with colorectal cancer. He was 62.
An official statement from Gibb’s camp reads as follows: “The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announces 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.”
Gibb, born in the Isle of Man in 1949, formed the Bee Gees with his brothers Maurice and Barry in 1958. Signed to Festival Records subsidiary Leedon Records in 1963, the band released their The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs debut album in 1965 following a string of mostly unsuccessful singles.
It wasn’t until 1967 that the Bee Gees truly began to make a name for themselves. That year, the band released their Bee Gees’ 1st LP, which reached the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. A handful of successful albums followed soon after, including 1968’s Idea and 1969’s Odessa.
After the release of Odessa, though, Robin left the group to pursue a solo career. The brothers Gibb would ultimately reunite in 1971, and in 1977, they released the Saturday Night Fever original soundtrack. One of the most commercially successful albums of the ’70s, the OST topped US albums charts for 24 consecutive weeks, spawned three number one singles (“How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “Night Fever”), and marked the apex of the disco sensation of the late ’70s.
Over their 50-plus-year career, the Bee Gees moved more than 220 million albums, making them one of the most successful groups of all time. In 1997, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the Jackson 5, Joni Mitchell, Buffalo Springfield, and others.