Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb Dies, Aged 53
Sun Jan 12, 4:46 AM ET
MIAMI (Reuters) - Singer Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, one of the disco sounds of the 1970s, has died after undergoing abdominal surgery last week, his family said on Sunday. He was 53.
Gibb, whose high-pitched harmonies with his twin Robin and older brother Barry helped create one of the best-selling musical groups, collapsed on Thursday at his Miami home after suffering intense stomach pain and was rushed to the hospital.
He "experienced cardiac arrest" before his surgery on an intestinal blockage, the hospital said. After the operation and until he died he was listed in critical but stable condition.
"His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us," the family said in a statement issued at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, where he was treated.
A hospital spokeswoman, Kathleen Dorkowski, said Gibb had passed away but gave no details. She said the hospital planned no further comment at this time.
No time of death was given but it appeared Gibb died late on Saturday or very early on Sunday.
The British-born Gibb brothers formed the Bee Gees as youngsters in 1958 in Brisbane, Australia. The group hit the height of their fame during the disco craze with the soundtrack to the film "Saturday Night Fever."
They dominated record charts worldwide in the 1970s with such hits as "Stayin' Alive," "More Than A Woman," and "How Deep Is Your Love."
'THE QUIET BEE GEE'
Gibb's family and friends had expressed hope just two days ago that he would survive.
Robin Gibb, said in a television interview aired on Friday in Britain, his brother's collapse took everyone by surprise but that Maurice's "vital organs are A-1 and he's recovering."
Maurice Gibb, whose voice was perhaps least familiar to the public, usually focused on back-up and harmony vocals.
"He was the quiet Bee Gee, the one who was always in the background," leading British Radio DJ Pat Sharp told Sky News.
"They are the one of the few acts to have had hits in every decade. They were a gang, you pictured them together and so now he's not here it is very sad," he said.
Music journalist Paul Gambaccini told BBC News: "Maurice was an integral part of the No. 5 best-selling act of all time. It's a major loss to music. He was one third of that unique vocal blend, so close it could only have come from brothers."
The siblings reside in the Miami area and have long been a part of the city's life, first moving to the region in the 1970s.
Maurice Gibb was married, to Yvonne, and the couple had two children. He lived in a waterfront house in Miami Beach and owned a local paintball shop called Commander Mo's.
A younger sibling, Andy, who did not sing with the Bee Gees but had a brief burst of fame in the late 1970s with hits such as "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and "Shadow Dancing," died of a heart infection in 1988, aged 29.