Out of all the brothers (Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb), Barry was the one to write the hits, whereas Maurice was the one to hang out with the “hipsters” of their era.
Robin, on the other hand, always took on the role as the lead singer during their earlier days. While older brother Barry had a voice that was warm and gooey, Robin’s voice rung as clear as day.
The three singing brothers of the Bee Gees shot to worldwide fame during our parents’ era (late 1960s to the 1970s) with what is now known as classic hits. They sold well over 100 million albums and had six consecutive No. 1 singles from the 1970s. With hits like “Night Fever” and “Stayin’ Alive”, the Bee Gees embodied the “swag” of their time.
They were at the forefront of disco.
But the disco era only lasted that long and by the 1980s, the band’s popularity waned in the United States, one of the biggest market in the music industry, but remained strong abroad. Their brand survived it.
So it’s no surprise that when they returned in the late 1990s with songs like “Alone” and “Immortality” (recorded with Celine Dion), it immediately propelled them back to the surface of the music industry:
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The Bee Gees were then inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in 1997. They also won six Grammys.
On the 14th of August 2010, Robin Gibb was rushed so a hospital in Oxford, England after he complained of abdominal pains. He underwent an emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. He soon recovered. But less than a year later, in April 2011, he was forced by “health problems” to cancel his tour of Brazil. A few more cancellations followed suit after.
It was only in November 2011 that it was revealed that Robin has been battling cancer. In an official statement on the 22nd of January 2012, he said:
For more than 18 months, I had lived with an inflammation of the colon; then I was diagnosed with colon cancer, which spread to the liver. I have undergone chemotherapy, however, and the results – to quote my doctor – have been “spectacular”. It’s taken a toll, naturally, but the strange thing is that I’ve never felt seriously ill. I’ve mostly felt great. There have been many false claims around, which I’d like to dispel. I am not and have never been “at death’s door”. Nor do I have a team of alternative doctors working on my health. That’s not true, although I’m not averse to healthy remedies for any illness. I feel they can go together with conventional medicine. I do eat health foods and drink herbal teas made for me by Dwina, my wife and RJ’s mother. Other than that, I am under the care of Dr. Peter Harper at The London Clinic.
He was optimistic. He was hopeful. And like a true hero, he continued to fight.
On the 4th of March, he was in remission from cancer. A few weeks later, he was hospitalized for intestinal surgery. Then came the 14th of April, when he was reportedly fighting for his life after contracting pneumonia and was in a coma. He eventually woke up but doctors later confirmed that he had advanced colorectal cancer.
His family stayed by his side until just a few hours ago, when he died due to complications of cancer and intestinal surgery. Robin Gibb was 62.
“I’d never try to be that distinctive from the Bee Gees’ sound. I’m very proud of being a Bee Gee and am always aware that I’ll be identified as a Bee Gee.”
The world loses another star – but he won’t be forgotten. Here’s thanking you for the years we grew up to the music our parents’ listened to. You will be missed, Robin. Rest in peace.
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