May 20, 2012— -- Robin Gibb, one of the founding member of the Bee Gees, along with his brothers Barry and Maurice, has died of at age 62.
"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. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time," family spokesman Doug Wright said.
The singer, songwriter and disco icon waged a brave battle against colon and liver cancer.
In 2010 he underwent surgery to treat a twisted bowel, a congenital condition that killed his twin brother and fellow Bee Gee, Maurice, in 2003. In January of this year Robin's spokesman announced that doctors had found a growth in his colon but said the singer was responding well to treatment despite his shockingly thin appearance.
In an interview with BBC radio in early February, Gibb proclaimed that he had made a "spectacular recovery" from cancer. But he was back in the hospital in late March for intestinal surgery and forced to cancel all of his plans.
Gibb had been working on his first classical concert, ""The Titanic Requiem" with his son Robin-John to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster. Preparing for the concert, he said, distracted him from his "illness to such a degree that I truly believed it might have saved my life," according to the British newspaper, The Sun."
When the Titanic concert debuted in London April 12, Gibb wasn't there.
"Sadly the reports are true that Robin has contracted pneumonia and is in a coma. We are all hoping and praying he will pull through," said a statement on RobinGibb.com this past weekend.
There was also an apology for Gibb's website being inaccessible due to "an extraordinarily high volume of traffic." Fans were directed to his official Facebook page.
Gibb's wife Dwina, daughter Melissa, 37, and sons Spencer, 39, and Robin-John, 29, and brother Barry, 65, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, reportedly kept a vigil by his bedside at a private hospital in London.
Gibb is survived by four children, Melissa and Spencer, with first wife Molly Hullis, Robin-John with second wife Dwina, and a two-year-old girl, Snow Robin, with his former housekeeper, Claire Yang.
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He is also survived by his mother, 91- year-old Barbara Gibb, who has lost three of her four sons.
"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 kind of a karmic price we are paying for all the fame and fortune we've had," Gibb told the British newspaper The Sun in March of this year.
The Bee Gees, British-born, Australia-raised brothers, were one of most successful pop groups of all time, selling more than 200 million albums. Their soundtrack to the movie "Saturday Night Fever" won a Grammy in 1979 and reigned as the top-selling album in history until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" topped it in the 1980's. In 2003, it was ranked number 131 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and was the all-time number one soundtrack album until Whitney Houston's "The Bodyguard" surpassed it in 1992.
The Bee Gees became members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won seven Grammy Awards.
Gibb was the lead singer of the original trio but Barry Gibb's signature falsetto sound on songs like "Nights on Broadway" dominated the group during their glory days. The group had exceptional success in the late 1960's, early 70's and became a disco sensation with blockbuster hits "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever."
The Brother's Gibb, as they were sometimes called, began to sing in harmonization and write songs together as young boys in England. But over their 50-year career they have seen their share of solo adventures, career slumps, suffered through the disco backlash, been the punch line of jokes and endured personal loss.
In 1988, the youngest Gibb brother, Andy, a teen idol, died of heart failure at age 30. Andy struggled with alcohol, drugs and relationships, including a failed romance with actress Victoria Principal.
The Bee Gee's later recorded "Wish You Were Here" in memory of Andy.
Maurice Gibb told Larry King in 2002 that their father, Hugh Gibb "literally died when Andy died." It was a "guilt thing" according to Robin Gibb who told King that his father was "very bitter for three years" after Andy's death. Hugh Gibb died in 1992.
The passing of Maurice Gibb at age 53 in January 2003 of complications from surgery to fix his twisted intestine stunned the Gibb family, marked the end of the Brother's Gibb and caused a rift between the two surviving members.
"It changed us radically," said Barry in an interview with The Telegraph in November 2009.
He also revealed that the once simmering rivalry between him and Robin (Robin once walked out of the band because of Barry's dominance) spun out of control after Maurice died. "We've hardly spoken to each other for the past five years. A shock like that either brings everybody together or scatters everybody, and in our family it scattered everyone."
The brothers worked it out eventually and vowed to continue making music together. Maurice was considered the outgoing Bee Gee but he also struggled with alcohol addiction and reportedly relapsed briefly after Andy's death.
The remaining Bee Gee, Barry Gibb is also the enduring face of the group, with his striking mane of long brown hair, now grey. The eldest boy of the Gibb family holds the title of the second most successful songwriter in history next to Paul McCartney, according to the book of Guinness World Records. He not only penned songs for the group but wrote platinum-selling hits for Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand.