With his carefully tended hair, tight trousers and perfect harmonies, Robin Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, defined the disco era. As part of the Bee Gees -- short for the Brothers Gibb -- they created dance floor classics like Stayin Alive, Jive Talkin, and Night Fever that can still get crowds onto a dance floor.
The catchy songs, with their falsetto vocals and relentless beat, are familiar pop culture mainstays. There are more than 6,000 cover versions of the Bee Gees hits, and they are still heard on dance floors and at wedding receptions, birthday parties, and other festive occasions.
Robin Gibb, 62, died on Sunday "following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery," his family announced in a statement released by Gibb's representative Doug Wright. "The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time," it said.
The Bee Gees, born in England but raised in Australia, began their career in the musically rich 1960s but it was their soundtrack for the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever that sealed their success. The album's signature sound -- some called it "blue-eyed soul" -- remains instantly recognizable more than 40 years after its release.
The album remains a turning point in popular music history, ending the hard rock era and ushering in a time when dance music ruled supreme. It became one of the fastest-selling albums of all time with its innovative fusion of harmony and pulsing beats. The movie launched the career of a young John Travolta whose snake-hipped moves to the sounds of You Should Be Dancing established his reputation as a dancer and forever linked his image to that of the Bee Gees.
Despite financial success, Robin Gibb and his brothers endured repeated tragedies. Maurice died suddenly of intestinal and cardiac problems in 2003. Their younger brother Andy Gibb, who also enjoyed considerable chart success as a solo artist, had died in 1988 just after turning 30. He suffered from an inflamed heart muscle attributed to a severe viral infection.