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Robin Gibb of Bee Gees dies at 62
Updated 5/20/2012 9:51 PM ET
One of the most beloved trios in pop history is now down to a single surviving member. Robin Gibb, 62, died Sunday of colorectal cancer — following twin brother Maurice, who died in 2003 after suffering a blocked intestine and cardiac arrest.

Robin Gibb, who had been hospitalized for pneumonia and had surgery to remove a growth from his colon, was central to the group's success both as a songwriter and a vocalist. He was the original lead singer, and his tangy, tremulous tenor and older brother Barry's deeper, breathier, falsetto-prone voice were constants as the Bee Gees traversed a wide range of musical styles.

Though the family act first gained attention in the '60s for Beatle-esque pop tunes, they moved into orchestral rock and then the soaring disco that made them superstars in the late '70s. Their contributions made 1977's Saturday Night Fever soundtrack a No. 1 album for 24 weeks, earning them chart-topping singles in Stayin' Alive, Night Fever and How Deep Is Your Love.

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Gibb nodded to the Bee Gees' different phases and the shifting tastes of pop audiences in his solo career, which predated the band's commercial heyday and continued after his twin's death. In 1969, he had a No. 2 hit in the U.K. with the lush, pining Saved By the Bell. In 1983, the lithe, danceable Juliet became a fan favorite, while 20 years later Gibb incorporated a rap segment into Please, a minor hit in England.

He also collaborated with Barry Gibb in writing Woman in Love, a No. 1 single for Barbra Streisand in 1980. The brothers worked on hits for artists from Dionne Warwick (Heartbreaker) to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (Islands in the Stream).

The Bee Gees were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2001, they released their final album, This Is Where I Came In. After Maurice died, the surviving brothers retired the name but had reconsidered in recent years. They appeared together at a 2006 concert in Florida and again on Dancing With the Stars in 2009 to promote a retrospective, The Ultimate Bee Gees.

This spring, Gibb made his classical album debut with Titanic Requiem, co-written with his son RJ. He was too sick to attend the work's world premiere April 10 in London.

In a 2001 Bee Gees interview with USA TODAY, Robin proved the impish wit of the group, quipping at one point, "We're comforted by the fact that most of our critics are dead. … We've outlived them."

Certainly, the music will do so.

Posted 5/20/2012 7:10 PM ET
Updated 5/20/2012 9:51 PM ET
Robin Gibb was central to the Bee Gees' success both as a songwriter and a vocalist.
By Jacques Collett, AFP/Getty Images
Robin Gibb was central to the Bee Gees' success both as a songwriter and a vocalist.