UPDATE: According to The Sunday Express, Robin Gibb died from kidney failure, not cancer as widely reported. Gibb's son Robert-John said, “It wasn’t the cancer that killed my father; those reports are wrong. Dad had actually gone into remission and the cancer was completely unrecognisable, it was too small to detect. No scan could see it. He actually died of kidney failure.”
Gibb's family released an official statement, stating, "The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announces with great sadness that Robin passed away today 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 (named because they were The Brothers Gibb) were one of the most successful pop groups of all time, selling more than 200 million albums. Their popularity spiked with the release of the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, a disco touchstone, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's website, the band, in the late 1970s, "dominated dance floors and airwaves. With their matching white suits, soaring high harmonies and polished, radio-friendly records, they remain one of the essential touchstones to that ultra-commercial era." They are the only pop group in history to write, produce and record six consecutive chart topping singles.
Robin Gibb has struggled with his health for the last few years. He was hospitalized in 2010 for intestinal complications—the same condition that claimed brother Maurice's life in 2003—and in 2011 he revealed his battle with liver cancer. In March 2012, he announced his cancer was in remission, but later that month, he was once again hospitalized for intestinal surgery. On April 14, his family made the sad announcement that he had slipped into a coma after contracting pneumonia, yet the singer awoke from his coma one week later.
The Bee Gees' musical influence is uniquely vast. While Barry's falsetto dominated the Bee Gees' Saturday Night Fever disco tunes, Robin's heartfelt, vulnerable voice was the centerpiece of their 1960s pop hits. On songs like "Holiday," "I Started A Joke" and "To Love Somebody," the trio of brothers created some of the most understated, sophisticated pop arrangements of the era.
Gibb died in England at 10:47 am (5:47 am ET). He is survived by his wife, Dwina; his daughter, Melissa, and sons Spencer and Robin-John.