- Published on Thursday, May 24 2012
- Written by Sarah Osman
Robin Gibb, one of three brothers who made up the 1970s pop group the Bee Gees, recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.
His death makes the only living member of the Bee Gees to be brother Barry, who is 65. Robin’s twin brother, Maurice, died in 2003 due to a twisted bowel. (A fourth Gibb brother, teen idol Andy, also passed away prematurely back in 1988.)
Robin Gibb and his brothers grew up in Manchester, U.K., and later spent time in Redcliffe, Australia. The group performed on local television shows as The B.G.’s, which was later changed to the Bee Gees. The Gibbs returned to England in the 1960s, where they quickly became an international success. Some of their lesser-known but still catchy hits emerged from this era, including “To Love Somebody”, “Lonely Days”, and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”.
In the 1970s, the Bee Gees began to develop more of a dance-beat sound with hits such as “Jive Talking” and “Nights on Broadway”. They truly became an international sensation with the 1977 release of Saturday Night Fever, a film starring John Travolta that was built around the Bee Gees songs. The charts were flooded with the Bee Gees hits, and they dominated pop culture and the disco era with their matching white suits and beautiful harmonies.
The Bee Gees remain the only band in history to write, produce, and record six #1 hits. They went on to sell more than 200 million records, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Robin Gibb was often one of the background singers of the group, although he was the lead singer on hits including “I Started a Joke” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”. He also recorded many solo albums during his career. Gibb went on to offer advice to future songwriters, including: keep a tape running to capture a moment of inspiration, and work under strict deadlines so that you will complete the song.
Over the last week, fans and musicians alike have shared their condolences for Gibb and his family via Twitter. Musicians Bryan Adams, Bruno Mars, and British band Duran Duran all expressed their sorrow for the loss of Robin Gibb.
Despite their close association with disco, the Bee Gees insisted that this was not intentional. They had simply written songs that suited their voices.
“We always thought we were writing R&B grooves,” Gibb said in 2010. “The fact you could dance to them -- we never thought about.”
Gibb's contributions to music and pop culture will remain shining part of his legacy. To celebrate his talents, check out two classic Bee Gees hits below... followed by one of the amazing "Barry Gibb Talk Show" skits from "Saturday Night Live", where Justin Timberlake impeccably impersonates the soft-spoken Robin.
- Sarah Osman, YH Staff