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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Stars lead tributes to Robin Gibb, 'talented beyond his understanding'

Rachael Alexander

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.

Mr 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 death with "great sadness" yesterday, 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 "one of the important figures in the history of British music".

Battle

Stars including Bryan Adams and writer Mick Hucknall also paid emotional tributes.

A statement released by Mr 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 Bee Gees' song catalogue, which includes 'Massachusetts', 'I've Gotta Get A Message To You', 'Lonely Days' and 'Stayin' Alive', led to their induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Mr 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."

Mr Gibb had surgery on his bowel 18 months ago 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 10pc chance of survival. His twin brother Maurice died of a heart attack in 2003 while his younger brother Andy, who was not part of the Bee Gees but a successful singer in his own right, died in 1988 from heart failure at 30.

Many people took to Twitter yesterday to pay their respects.

Mr Adams said: "Robin Gibb RIP. Very sad to hear about yet another great singer dying too young."

While 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."

SEE OBITUARY PAGE 28

Irish Independent

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