Bee Gees co-founder Robin Gibb dies after long battle with cancer, intestinal issues

Robin Gibb, one of the founding members of the pop superstar group The Bee Gees, has died after a long battle with cancer.

He was 62.

Robin Gibb's death was announced on his personal website, in a message attributed to his family. The site, however, as it did when Gibb was announced as being comatose in mid-April, has crashed under the load of thousands of visitors. The statement said that Gibb "passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery." He died in England at 10:47 a.m. (5:47 a.m. ET), according to a post on his official Twitter feed.

The Tweet said simply, "Sadly Robin Gibb has passed away May 20th, 10:47 UK time."

With Robin Gibb's death, the sole surviving member of the three Bee Gees is brother Barry, 65. Robin's twin brother, Maurice, died in 2003 at the age of 53 from a twisted bowel. That sort of intestinal issue is often hereditary, and Robin Gibb himself had emergency surgery in 2010 for a blocked bowel and then had more surgery for a twisted bowel, later.

Younger brother Andy Gibb, who was not part of the group, but was a superstar as a solo performer, died at 30 from a heart infection.

In April, when he awoke from a coma that had been caused by a combination of illnesses that combined to nearly - then - cost him his life, his doctors said it was only the singer's "iron will" that enabled him to defy the odds and regain consciousness. The 62-year-old singer fell into a coma in April after he contracted pneumonia. Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam said after Gibb awoke that he warned Gibbs' family that the Bee Gees singer might never wake up.

At the time, Robin Gibb was being treated for advanced colorectal cancer. With grueling doses of chemotherapy and two operations, his systems were weakened, and he contracted pneumonia as a result.

Along with his older brother Barry and his twin brother Maurice, Robin Gibb founded the Bee Gees in the late 1950s. The group released their first record in 1963, but it wasn't until the 1970s that the group saw its biggest successes. The brothers Gibb were propelled to worldwide fame by a series of disco smash hits, many movie-related, including "Stayin' Alive," "Jive Talkin'", and "Night Fever," and went on to sell an estimated 200 million records.

The Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Their soundtrack album to "Saturday Night Fever" was the top-selling album of all-time until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" took that honor away from them in the 1980s.

Robin Gibb is survived by his wife, Dwina; his daughter, Melissa, and sons Spencer and Robin-John.

Image Source Wikimedia Commons