Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Music stars lead tributes to Gibb

1989: The Bee Gees
Robin Gibb pictured in 1967
Bee Gees star Robin Gibb sold more than 200 million records

The entertainment world has led tributes to Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb after the "musical giant" lost a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 62.

Gibb, who sold more than 200 million records and notched up dozens of hits with brothers Maurice and Barry, had recently undergone intestinal surgery. His family announced his tragic death with "great sadness" on Sunday, prompting an outpouring of emotion from fans and fellow members of the music industry.

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said the performer and songwriter was "talented beyond even his own understanding" and dubbed him as "one of the important figures in the history of British music".

A statement released by Gibb's loved-ones said: "The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time."

The Bee Gees' song catalogue, which includes Massachusetts, I've Gotta Get A Message To You, Lonely Days, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, How Deep Is Your Love and Stayin' Alive, led to their induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Gambaccini said: "Everyone should be aware that the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music.

"Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny's Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, the list goes on and on."

Gibb had surgery on his bowel 18 months ago for an unrelated condition but a tumour was discovered and he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and subsequently of the liver. The singer fell into a coma last month after contracting pneumonia but his family later said he had "beaten the odds" just days after doctors said he "was in God's hands" and had a 10% chance of survival.

Many people took to micro blogging site Twitter to pay their respects. Canadian rocker Adams said: "Robin Gibb RIP. Very sad to hear about yet another great singer dying too young."

British singer songwriter Mick Hucknall wrote: "RIP Robin Gibb. A musical giant," while former X Factor judge Dannii Minogue said: "We start believin' now that we can be who we are - Grease is the word...RIP Robin Gibb."

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