"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," read a statement confirming the news. "The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time."
Gibb, who had been battling colon and liver cancer, lapsed into a weeklong coma last month. In February, doctors said he'd made a "spectacular" recovery from the disease, but he was soon back in the hospital for surgery. The "Saturday Night Fever" singer had bowel surgery almost two years ago for an unrelated condition, at which time doctors discovered a tumor and diagnosed him with colon cancer. It appeared as if the cancer was in remission as recently as March.
Robin was one-third of the Brothers Gibb, alongside lead singer Barry and twin brother Maurice, who died in 2003 from complications of abdominal surgery. The siblings created the Bee Gees as teens in Brisbane, Australia, in 1958. They made their initial impact on pop during the Beatles-led British invasion of the mid-'60s, sending "New York Mining Disaster 1941" into the top 20 and beginning a string of hits that would last through 1972's "Run to Me." The '71 smash "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" reached the top of the charts.
The Bee Gees' style shifted during the disco era, and their success with funky, dance-oriented pieces such as "Jive Talkin'" and "You Should Be Dancing" set them up for the pop juggernaut of "Saturday Night Fever."
With falsetto vocals and irresistible rhythms, the trio became one of disco's most resonant symbols. Three Bee Gees songs from the film's soundtrack, "How Deep Is Your Love," "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever," reached #1 on the Billboard chart. The "Saturday Night Fever" album is pop's best-selling soundtrack, having moved over 40 million copies.
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