Robin Hugh Gibb, CBE (22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012) was a British singer and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the Bee Gees, co-founded with his twin brother Maurice and older brother Barry. He had another younger brother, Andy Gibb, who was also a very popular solo singer.
Born in the Isle of Man to English parents, the family later moved to Manchester before settling in Brisbane, Australia. Gibb began his career as part of the family trio and when the group found their first success they returned to the United Kingdom where they achieved worldwide fame. In 2004, the Bee Gees received their CBEs from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for their "contribution to music". With record sales estimated in excess of 200 million units, the Bee Gees became one of the most successful pop groups of all time.
After a career spanning six decades, Gibb last performed on stage in February 2012 supporting injured British servicemen and women at a charity concert at the London Palladium.] On 20 May 2012, Gibb died at the age of 62 from colorectal cancer.
In late 2004, Gibb embarked on a solo tour of Germany, Russia and Asia, with singer Alistair Griffin as the opening act. On his return to the UK, Gibb released a CD and DVD of live recordings from the German leg of the tour, backed by the Frankfurt Neue Philharmonic Orchestra of Frankfurt, Germany. In 2005, Gibb made a solo tour of Latin America.
On 20 February 2006, Gibb and Barry performed at a concert for the Diabetes Research Institute of the University of Miami in Hollywood, Florida. This was their first joint performance since Maurice's death. In March 2006, Gibb announced plans for more solo concerts in Shanghai, China and Portugal. In May 2006, Gibb took part in the Prince's Trust 30th Birthday Concert at the Tower of London along with Barry. They sang three songs: "Jive Talkin'", "To Love Somebody" and "You Should Be Dancing". In September 2006, Gibb performed "Stayin' Alive" at the Miss World 2006 contest finals in Warsaw, Poland. In November 2006, Gibb performed a solo concert, entitled "Bee Gees – Greatest Hits", at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, the Philippines.
Gibb marked his return to his birthplace by playing a concert at the Isle of Man TT festival in 2007. The Peel Bay TT Festival – 12 February 2007. Gibb donated all of his share of the money from this concert to the children's ward at Noble's Hospital, Isle of Man, and invited all emergency service staff and marshals for the TT to attend for free.
On 8 September 2007, Gibb performed a concert in Salt Lake City, Utah at EnergySolutions Arena for the Nu Skin Enterprises Convention, singing a set of Bee Gees hits.
On 25 October 2007, Gibb performed a concert at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria and sang the Bee Gees' most famous songs.
On 25 October 2008, to mark the 30th anniversary of the song "Saturday Night Fever" topping the UK charts, Gibb performed with special guests including Ronan Keating, Stephen Gateley, Sam Sparro, Sharleen Spiteri, Gabriella Cilmi and Bryn Christopher at the London music festival BBC Electric Proms.
On 30 January 2012, Gibb announced his intention to appear on stage at the Coming Home Concert at the London Palladium in February to benefit British soldiers returning home from Afghanistan; "I’m looking forward to appearing if possible and being able to continue my support for our servicemen and women. We owe a debt of gratitude to the dedication and professionalism of our armed forces. It would be his last performance on stage.
In 1968 Gibb married Molly Hullis, a secretary in Robert Stigwood's organisation. The couple had survived the Hither Green rail crash, which killed 49 people on 5 November 1967. They had two children together, Spencer (b. 1972) and Melissa (b. 1974). The couple divorced in 1980 after years of living separate lives, with Gibb almost permanently in the US and Hullis remaining in the UK.
Gibb's second wife, Dwina Murphy Gibb, is an author and an artist. She is interested in the Druidry religion and is a follower of the neo-Hindu Brahma Kumaris movement. The couple had a son, Robin-John (known as RJ (b. 1983). Gibb and his wife divided their time between the Isle of Man, Miami, Florida and Thame in Oxfordshire.
On 10 March 1988, Andy Gibb died in Oxford, England, of myocarditis. On 12 January 2003, Maurice Gibb died in Miami Beach, Florida of complications from a twisted intestine.
On 4 November 2008, he had a fourth child, Snow Evelyn Robin Juliet Gibb, born out of a private relationship with a housekeeper. Gibb was "an ardent vegan and teetotaller".
In politics, Gibb was a supporter of the British Labour Party and launched a rally in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, ahead of the 2005 General Election. Gibb was a close friend of the former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was criticised for staying at Gibb's Miami mansion over Christmas 2006. In 2008 Gibb publicly stated that he continued to get on "like a house on fire" with Blair, and claimed that the then Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown regularly listened to the Bee Gees."He listens to our music every day. Gordon likes our music and I like Gordon," he told The Times.
Health problems and death
On 14 August 2010, while performing in Belgium, Gibb began to feel abdominal pains. On 18 August, he was rushed to a hospital in Oxford, England and underwent emergency surgery for a blocked intestine, the same condition that killed Maurice. Gibb recovered and returned to perform concerts in New Zealand and Australia. During this time, Gibb was also involved in promoting fund-raising for the memorial dedicated to RAF Bomber Command in Green Park, London. Gibb also wrote The Titanic Requiem with his son Robin-John, which was recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in 2012. Gibb continued to make television appearances and other events following his surgery, but in April 2011 he was forced by health problems to cancel his tour of Brazil. Another concert in Paris was cancelled in October 2011. On 14 October, Gibb was due to perform the charity single with The Soldiers, but was again rushed to hospital with severe abdominal pains. On 18 October, following his release from the hospital, Gibb appeared on ITV's The Alan Titchmarsh Show looking gaunt and frail.
On 27 October 2011, Gibb cancelled an appearance only minutes before he was due to perform at the Poppy Appeal Concert in London. Later the same week however, Gibb was seen in London and quoted as saying he felt "absolutely great".
On 20 November 2011, it was revealed that Gibb had been diagnosed with liver cancer several months earlier. A source close to the singer stated that his condition was "not good" and his wife, Dwina, had not left his bedside. His brother Barry and his wife Linda, as well as their mother Barbara and Robin's children, Melissa and Spencer, flew to the UK to be with him. In an interview published in The Mail on Sunday on 22 January 2012, Gibb spoke for the first time of the cancer.
"For more than 18 months, I had lived with an inflammation of the colon; then I was diagnosed with colon cancer, which spread to the liver. I have undergone chemotherapy, however, and the results — to quote my doctor — have been 'spectacular'. It’s taken a toll, naturally, but the strange thing is that I've never felt seriously ill. I’ve mostly felt great. There have been many false claims around, which I'd like to dispel. I am not and have never been 'at death's door'. Nor do I have a team of alternative doctors working on my health. That's not true, although I'm not averse to healthy remedies for any illness. I feel they can go together with conventional medicine. I do eat health foods and drink herbal teas made for me by Dwina, my wife and RJ's mother. Other than that, I am under the care of Dr. Peter Harper at The London Clinic".
On 4 March it was announced that Gibb was in remission from cancer. On 28 March, Gibb's publicist announced that he had been hospitalised for intestinal surgery and was recovering and cancelled scheduled appearances.
On 14 April, it was reported that Gibb was "fighting for his life" after contracting pneumonia and was in a coma in a Chelsea hospital. Gibb's two oldest children, his wife Dwina, his brother Barry and his mother were at his bedside. On 20 April, it was reported that Gibb was out of his coma and was making remarkable progress, according to his family. On 22 April, however, it was reported that he had advanced colorectal cancer. He died in London on 20 May 2012 at the age of 62.
Music historian Paul Gambaccini described Gibb as "one of the major figures in the history of British music" and "one of the best white soul voices ever", while he noted that the Bee Gees were "second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music".Gibb's death left his brother Barry as the only surviving original member of the Bee Gees
Robin Gibb performs on the Dutch television network AVRO programme TopPop in 1973.
|Birth name||Robin Hugh Gibb|
|Born||22 December 1949|
Douglas, Isle of Man
|Died||20 May 2012 (aged 62)|
|Genres||Pop, soft rock, adult contemporary, disco|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, violin, guitar|
|Labels||Polydor, RSO, Mirage|
|Associated acts||Bee Gees|