MAURICE GIBB DIES

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Family Statement (January 12, 2003)
"To our extended family friends and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning. His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us."
"Family Left Devastated By Death Of Maurice Gibb" (January 12, 2003 - Ananova)
Maurice Gibb died in a Miami hospital early today. He had been critically ill after suffering a heart attack during surgery to remove an intestinal blockage.

"To our extended family friends and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning," Gibb's family said in a statement. "His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him."

Pete Bassett, spokesman for Maurice's twin brother, Robin, said: "It's a huge shock to us all and completely unexpected. Robin and his family have flown out to Miami and everyone is just devastated.

"They have literally woken up to this and it's the worst possible news anyone could have expected from the day's events. There's just complete and utter shock. This is an unbelievable blow."

He added: "On Friday Robin felt that there was an improvement and that Maurice had started to regain consciousness and he was reported to be responding to his family but obviously that was only a temporary thing.

"It's just too shocking at this stage to think about. Everyone was just believing that Maurice was coming round and we woke up to this awful news.

"The past few days since Robin heard the initial news of Maurice have been just so emotional for him and our thoughts go out to him as Maurice's twin and obviously to his family."

Friend David Most, who has worked with the Bee Gees for 16 years, told ITV: "It's a shock, because we thought he was getting better. He did twiddle his toes, he held his daughter's hand, and squeezed it, his organs were all functioning, we thought, 'it's the turning point', and then suddenly he went into a coma. It's terrible, absolutely terrible."
January 13:  Robin Gibb's Message (www.robingibb.com)
"The past few days have been a nightmare from which I shall never awake. Barry and I are both devastated following Maurice's untimely death. We had taken away from us, not just a brother, but a friend, band member and kindred spirit. Whilst we come to terms with this great personal loss we also wish to thank all our fans for their support, and let them know that in our hour of despair they have given us strength to continue. Barry and I will shortly be announcing details of the funeral and memorial service, but our aim is to work even harder than before on our musical projects as this is the only way we know to come to terms with recent tragic events. To dwell on sadness is not our way and not the correct way to respect Maurice's memory. My intention is to get back to work very shortly and pay tribute to Maurice the way he would have wished, through our music."
"Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb Dies, Aged 53" (Reuters - Jan 12, 2003)
"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."

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.
"Bee Gee Maurice Gibb Dead"  (CBS, Jan 12, 2003)
"Maurice Gibb, a member of the famed disco band the Bee Gees, died Sunday at a Miami Beach hospital, his family said. He was 53.

Gibb, who joined with his older brother and his twin to harmonize their way to becoming one of the best selling musical groups ever, suffered cardiac arrest before undergoing emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. He was admitted to Mount Sinai Medical Center Wednesday and underwent surgery Thursday.

"To our extended family friends and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning," Gibb's family said in a statement. "His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him."

Gibb played bass and keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb.

In a 1978 interview with TG Magazine, Gibb lamented the perception that the Bee Gees were only a disco band. "People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now," Gibb said. "But they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like `More Than A Woman.' And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too."

The Bee Gees — twins Maurice and Robin, and their older brother Barry — have lived in South Florida since the late 1970s. Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment.

Chris Hutchins, a writer and former press agent for the Bee Gees, said Maurice was "very much a tormented soul. He was not the star (of the Bee Gees), and he knew it, he felt it," Hutchins told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Known for their close harmonies and original sound, the Bee Gees are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their 1977 contributions to the "Saturday Night Fever" album made it the best selling movie soundtrack ever with more than 40 million copies sold. Among their disco hits on that album are "Stayin' Alive," "More Than a Woman" and "How Deep Is Your Love," and "Night Fever." The group won seven Grammy Awards. The Bee Gees last album was in 2001, entitled "This Is Where I Came In."

The family emigrated from England to Australia in 1958, and the brothers soon gained fame as a teen pop group. They returned to England in the 1960s, and their first four albums contained hits such as "1941 New York Mining Disaster," "To Love Somebody," and their first U.S. number one song, 1971's "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart." The Bee Gees followed "Saturday Night Fever" with the 1978 album "Spirits Having Flown" which sold 20 million copies. The brothers wrote and produced songs for Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick in the 1980s. They also wrote the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit "Islands in the Stream."   The Bee Gees released three studio albums and went on a world tour in the 1990s. The live album from the tour "One Night Only," sold more than 1 million albums in the United States. The Bee Gees run a music production company in Miami called Middle Ear Studios.

Gibb's first wife was British singer Lulu. He and his second wife, Yvonne, were married for more than 20 years and had two children.
"Maurice Gibb Dies at 53" (canada.com - Jan 12 2003)
One of the biggest stars of the disco era is dead.

Family member say Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, has died at a Miami Beach hospital at the age of 53.  He'd been in critical condition since suffering cardiac arrest on Thursday just before undergoing surgery for a blocked intestine.  He died this morning at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Gibb played bass and keyboards for the Bee Gees, which also included his twin brother Robin and older brother Barry. The three have lived in South Florida since the late 1970's. Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment. Known for their close harmonies and original sound, the Bee Gees are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their 1977 contributions to the ``Saturday Night Fever'' album made it the best selling movie soundtrack ever with more than 40 million copies sold. Their hits on that album include ``Stayin' Alive,'' ``More Than a Woman'' and ``How Deep Is Your Love,'' and ``Night Fever.''
During their long career the Bee Gees have won seven Grammy Awards.
"The Bee Gees Rock'n'roller" (The Mirror January 13 2003)
Tragic Maurice Gibb will go down in music history as the true wildman of the Bee Gees. His twin Robin and older brother Barry both dabbled with drink and drugs, but Maurice did them big-time.

The singer, who died yesterday at the age of 53, went on a 25-year booze bender after being given his first scotch by John Lennon as a teenager. In one of his last interviews, father-of-two Maurice recalled the heady days of the group's early fame. He said: "John Lennon was the person who got me to drink my first scotch and Coke. I was 17 and if he'd told me to take cyanide I'd have done it. "I was going to Tramp every night and then driving home totally blitzed. It was good fun." Maurice, who was known as the "funny one" of the Gibb brothers, added: "No one had minders then - we used to get drunk with Prince Charles at Tramp. "When I was married to Lulu the doorbell would go at three in the morning and it would be Rod Stewart or David Bowie. "We'd go down in our dressing gowns and get the bar open."

Maurice was taken to hospital in Miami last week with stomach pains and suffered a heart attack during surgery. He died early yesterday with his family at his bedside. When surgeons operated last week "they found gangrene all over his intestines. He should have had about 25ft of healthy intestine, but he only had two feet left".

LAUGHTER: Maurice was the "funny one." Maurice admitted he was a fearsome drinker. "I became a Jekyll and Hyde figure," he said. "I was never physically abusive, but I was very vicious with my tongue."

In 1988, his brother Andy, who had a solo pop career, died from heart failure, brought on by drink and drugs. Maurice said: "I just drank and drank to numb my mind." The drinking saw off his six-year marriage to singer Lulu, who left him in 1975.

Six months later he met his second wife Yvonne when she walked into his dressing room at the Batley Variety Club. "I just saw her eyes and said to myself: This is the woman am going to marry," he said. They married eight months later, but Maurice was still boozing. It was another 20 years before he admitted he had a problem and joined Alcoholics' Anonymous. He said: "I owe everything to these people. I go to a meeting every day, Christmas, New Year, wherever I am in the world." Maurice, who also smoked 40 cigarettes a day, said last year: "I'm very lucky. If you think of all our mountains and valleys, all the marriage break-ups, all the drink and drugs and all the not talking to each other, that's not bad going."

The three brothers were born in the Isle of Man, then the Gibb family moved to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, a poor suburb of Manchester, in the 1950s. Their father Hugh was a drummer with a dance band and their mother was a backing singer. By the time they were six, the twins, and Barry, nine, had taught themselves to sing three-part harmonies. Maurice recalled: "My dad heard us in our bedroom doing the Everly Brothers and he thought the radio must be on." In 1955, Robin, Maurice and Barry made their debut at a cinema, singing and miming the hits of the day.

In 1958, the family emigrated to Australia and the brothers became child stars. They returned to England and signed a record deal. Their first English release, New York Mining Disaster 1941, made the top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic in 1967. Its evocative, intriguing lyrics and striking harmony, earned them comparisons to The Beatles. In the same year they had their first No.1 with Massachusetts. Since then, they have sold more than 100 million records and scored hits in four decades as the most successful trio in pop history.

Maurice, famous for his trademark fedora, played bass and keyboard for the group, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb. The band's low points included the breakdown of all of their first marriages, periods when nobody spoke to each other, a lot of drink and drugs and brother Andy's death at the age of 30.
But in 1979, the brothers emerged from the doldrums to write the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. It sold 60 million copies and was followed by a
sequel, Stayin' Alive, in 1983. Maurice and his brothers always felt critics and the music business under-rated their efforts. He said once: "People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now. But they don't know what they're talking about. "If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music, but
there are also ballads like More Than A Woman. And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too."

In the late 1990s, they won an American Lifetime Achievement Award, a Brit Award and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Last year, the brothers were each awarded CBEs in the New Year Honours List.

Twin brother Robin arrived at the Florida hospital just an hour before Maurice died. Robin, who lives in Oxfordshire, flew out to Miami to join Maurice's wife and grown-up children, Adam and Samantha, at the bedside. In a statement yesterday, the family said: "His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him." Fans gathered outside the hospital with flowers and messages.

Friend David Most, who has worked with the brothers for 16 years, said: "It's a shock, because we thought he was getting better. He did twiddle his toes, he held his daughter's hand, and squeezed it. His organs were all functioning. We thought 'It's the turning point', and then suddenly he went into a coma. It's terrible."

DJ and pal Paul Gambaccini said: "It's a major loss to music. He was one third of a unique vocal blend. He was the high part of the three-part harmony. I'm afraid that this beautiful Bee Gee sound without him can never be produced again."

Pete Bassett, spokesman for Robin, said: "It's a huge shock to us all and completely unexpected. Everyone is just devastated. "Everyone was just believing that Maurice was coming round and we woke up to this awful news. The past few days since Robin heard the initial news of Maurice have been just so emotional for him. Barry is absolutely devastated, he's beside himself...inconsolable."
"Maurice Gibb Dies" (By Andrew Dansby, Rolling Stone - Jan 13, 2003)
The Bee Gees' singer/bassist/keyboardist Maurice Gibb died Sunday; he was fifty-three.

Gibb collapsed January 9th at his home in Miami and was hospitalized for intestinal blockage. Just before surgery, he also suffered cardiac arrest. Gibb's brothers and band mates Robin (his twin) and Barry are publicly questioning his care at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The son of an English bandleader, the brothers Gibb (which would eventually inform their band's name) began singing together in the mid-Fifties. After the family relocated to Australia, the group began to record, with their high harmonies and rich melodies as their trademarks. The Bee Gees returned to England and broke through in 1967, with their first U.S. hit "New York Mining Disaster 1941" (Number Fourteen) and their first album Bee Gees First (Number Seven). The group had five Top Forty albums and eight Top Forty Singles before 1970.

Despite their pop success, which ran fairly uninterrupted into the mid-Seventies, it was the 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that would prove to be the band's blessing and curse for the next twenty-five years. The Bee Gees contributed six cuts to the album, which has been certified fifteen-times platinum. Three of the album's songs, "How Deep Is Your Love," "Staying Alive" and "Night Fever," were Number One hits.

The album was an international phenomenon, and, as a result, the Bee Gees were arguably the biggest band of the era. But they also took the biggest hit with the crack of a fierce disco backlash. That backlash wasn't immediate, though, as the group landed another trio of Number One singles ("Too Much Heaven," "Tragedy" and "Love You Inside Out") in 1978 and 1979. The Bee Gees' last U.S. chart success came with the 1983 soundtrack to Staying Alive, which climbed to Number Six, though the group continued to be well received, and sell albums, internationally.

Like the band, Gibb persevered through the decade. A recovering alcoholic, he was hit hard by the 1988 death of his younger brother, Andy, who suffered from a heart ailment, and suffered a brief relapse. But Gibb rallied and the band forged forward releasing One in 1989, High Civilization in 1991 Size Isn't Everything in 1993 and Still Waters in 1997; all four records were hits in the U.K. and Germany. In 1997, the Bee Gees were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The group's last studio album was 2001's This Is Where I Came In, and the same year saw the release of the two-CD retrospective, Their Greatest Hits: The Record, which offers a cross-section of pop sounds by an always-evolving band.

Gibb, who was married to British pop singer Lulu from 1969 to 1973, is survived by his wife, Yvonne, and two children.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent in Gibb's name to:

The Andy Gibb Memorial Foundation
c/o Dade Community Foundation
200 South Biscayne Blvd.
Suite 505
Miami, Florida 33131-2343
"Maurice Gibb of Legendary Bee Gees Dies" (By Adrian Sainz, Associated Press, Jan 12 2003)
Maurice Gibb, who with his brothers built the Bee Gees into a disco sensation that ruled the charts in the late '70s with hits like ``Stayin' Alive'' and ``More Than a Woman,'' died Sunday at the age of 53.   The bass and keyboard player had been admitted to Mount Sinai Medical Center four days earlier to have emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage. He suffered cardiac arrest before the operation.

``To our extended family friends and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning,'' Gibb's family said in a statement. ``His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us.''

The Bee Gees, short for the Brothers Gibb--twins Maurice and Robin, and their older brother Barry--were known for their tight, high harmonies and original sound.  Robin and Barry were able to see their brother before he died, said Pete Bassett, a spokesman for Robin.  ``The family are together today at Robin's house in Florida and all are utterly bereft at this unexpected loss,'' he said.

The brothers had nine No. 1 songs, wrote dozens of hits for other artists, and sold more than 110 million records--placing them fifth in pop history behind Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.  Their 1977 contributions to the ``Saturday Night Fever'' album made it the best selling movie soundtrack ever with more than 40 million copies sold. Among their disco hits on the album: ``Stayin' Alive,'' ``More Than a Woman,'' ``How Deep Is Your Love,'' and ``Night Fever.''  The Bee Gees became members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won seven Grammy Awards. Their last album was in 2001, titled ``This Is Where I Came In.''

Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment.

Maurice, a recovering alcoholic, was ``very much a tormented soul,'' said Chris Hutchins, a former press agent for the Bee Gees.

In a 1978 interview with TG Magazine, Maurice Gibb talked about the group and how their fans and other saw them. ``People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now,'' Gibb said. ``But they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like `More Than A Woman.' And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too.''

Originally from England, the brothers gained fame as a teen pop group in Australia. They returned to England in the 1960s, and their first four albums contained hits such as ``1941 New York Mining Disaster,'' ``To Love Somebody,'' and their first U.S. number one song, 1971's ``How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.'' They have lived in South Florida since the late 1970s.

The Bee Gees followed ``Saturday Night Fever'' with the 1978 album ``Spirits Having Flown,'' which sold 20 million copies.  They wrote and produced songs for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick in the 1980s, and also wrote the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit ``Islands in the Stream.''  Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell and Jose Feliciano recorded Bee Gees songs, as have newer acts such as Celine Dion and the Fugees.

In the 1990s, the Bee Gees released three studio albums and went on a world tour. The live album from the tour, ``One Night Only,'' sold more than 1 million albums in the United States.

Gibb's first wife was British singer Lulu. He and his second wife, Yvonne, were married for more than 20 years and had two children.
"The 'other' Bee Gee dies" (By Tony Jones, Herald Sun, 13 Jan 03)
BEE GEE Maurice Gibb will be best remembered for adding his unique vocals to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack - at the time, the biggest selling album ever.

The 53-year-old had been in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a heart attack during an operation to remove an intestinal blockage last week. His wife Yvonne and two children had been with him at Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Centre since the surgery. Despite a belief he was recovering, he died yesterday.

Maurice's death follows that of youngest Gibb brother Andy. Andy - a solo pop star best known for his hit I Just Wanna Be Your Everything - died in 1988 of a heart failure. In a grim coincidence, he was admitted to hospital initially after complaining of stomach pains.

Music guru Molly Meldrum paid tribute to Maurice, twin brother Robin and older brother Barry, saying there was no doubt that the Bee Gees were one of the world's biggest acts in the 1970s. "From a musical point of view these guys were and are huge, so it is a blow," Molly said. "And from a personal view as well, because they are all family friends, this is like affecting a part of my family. When these things happen, they just throw you for a six." Meldrum said the Gibb brothers managed to become one of the biggest bands in the world but remained the same likeable boys they were when they started their careers in Brisbane in the 1960s. "They were one of the major bands in the world with major, major hits. They had a lull and then Saturday Night Fever happened - they were alive again and have been ever since," he said. "And they never forgot how they were brought up in Australia and that is a credit to all of them."

The Bee Gees reportedly were working on a new album and were planning a world tour in 2004. But Meldrum said Maurice's death may mark the end of the band: "I don't think the Bee Gees would go on without Maurice."

Maurice Gibb and his brothers began their singing careers in the 1950s in the UK, earning their name from a previous incarnation as the Brothers Gibb. Following a spell in Brisbane, where they gained their first recording contract, they returned to the UK in 1967 to critical acclaim.

Pictured on the cover of Saturday Night Fever the Gibb brothers were all wide smiles, bouffant hair and tight white outfits - but the music marked the pinnacle of their career and propelled the Bee Gees to superstardom with hit after hit. The trio's trademark falsetto close-harmony vocals were a highlight of the disco movie that also brought John Travolta to fame.

It was a long way from their start in theatres in Manchester in the mid-1950s as a child act encouraged by their father, Hugh, a band leader, and mother Barbara, a former singer. They continued to perform when the family moved to Brisbane in 1958. Their single Spicks and Specks was No.1 in Australia. They signed a contract in the UK and their first English recording, New York Mining Disaster 1941 released in mid-1967, made the top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic.

But the group's first real hit was Massachusetts, a chart topper off their 1968 album Horizontal. They then recorded the album Idea and from it released I Started A Joke and Gotta Get A Message To You, both huge hits. The brothers argued over follow-up album Odessa, released in 1969, and did not record together for 18 months. When they finally reformed in 1970 they created their first American No.1 Lonely Days and the following year had another hit with How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, covered by soul legend Al Greene.

Maurice married young Scottish singer Lulu in 1969. They divorced in 1973 and within a few years Maurice married his second wife Yvonne, the mother of his two children Adam and Samantha, now both in their 20s.

British author Chris Hutchins, a former press agent for the Bee Gees, said Maurice had a history of poor health - made worse by heavy drinking in the Lulu years. Hutchins said Maurice would have liked to be more of a front man in the band, as opposed to "the quiet one".

The group's success at the begin ning of the 1970s did not last as they lost ground to emerging sounds such as glam rock. But their sound changed when producer Arif Mardin, who had worked with soul legends including Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, joined them. The hits emerged again. The culmination of their rebirth was the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack which sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

The group were inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
"The Other Bee Gee Sings His Last" (By Jeremy Roberts, The Australian, 13 Jan 2003)
MAURICE Gibb was sometimes dismissed as the "other brother" in the Bee Gees, a bass guitarist and keyboard player who sang backing vocals and harmonies.

But Maurice, who died yesterday in Miami aged 53, was "a good arranger, a good musician, a good person", said veteran Australian rocker Col Joye.  The loss will be felt keenly in Australia because "they started off here, they did their apprenticeship here".  Rock stalwart Johnny Devlin said last night Maurice played a crucial role in the band. "The Bee Gees would have been nothing without him," he said. "He was like a John Lennon – a spokesman for the band as well as influential about what they sang and how."

Gibb died of a heart attack after earlier undergoing surgery for an intestinal blockage. After news of his death, the three brothers were being remembered for their wide smiles, white suits and the falsetto harmonies that were easy to parody. But their international success helped push Australian music on to the world stage. With record sales of more than 110 million, the Bee Gees earned a place in the top-five selling acts of all time, behind The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. Their success was prodigious – six consecutive number one singles in the US, four in Britain – and worldwide fame as the voices of Saturday Night Fever.

Australia claimed the Bee Gees as its own, but Maurice, his twin brother Robin and their older brother, Barry, were born on the Isle of Man and moved several times in their youth, first to Manchester, then Brisbane. In 1958, the brothers became the Bee Gees – for Brothers Gibb – after years as a child act. They found limited success, first in Australia, then England. But their first big hit, Massachusetts, a chart-topper in England, showcased their ability as arrangers.

The rise of the Bee Gees might not have been as steep if Barry had not fronted up to a Joye concert in Surfers Paradise in 1962. Joye was one the biggest stars of Australia's fledgling rock scene and after meeting and listening to the brothers he brought them to Sydney and introduced them to Festival Records. In 1966, the Bee Gees moved to England where their first Australian number one, Spicks and Specks, became number one. Joye became lifelong friends with the family and was devastated yesterday by the news of Maurice's unexpected death. "We are all quite distraught – this was completely out of the blue," he said. "It's a loss to the world, the Bee Gees were quite unique – musically, as performers, as song-writers." Joye's brother and sometime bandmate Kevin Jacobsen was also lamenting the Maurice's passing. "He was always up, he was always ready for a joke or a quip – he always wore a smile," Jacobsen said. He rated the Bee Gees as "one of the phenomenons of show business of all times", ahead of The Beatles, and certainly "Australia's greatest international talent". He had spoken to Barry Gibb by telephone and said the oldest brother in the close Gibb family was "devastated".

In 1969 Maurice first married British songstress Lulu, who described the pairing as "two spoilt little pop stars". The pair divorced in 1973, and Maurice met his second wife Yvonne, who survives him along with two adult children, Adam and Samantha. Gibb battled alcoholism throughout his life, relapsing after the death in 1988 of his younger brother Andy.
"Maurice Gibb dead at age 53. Maurice was fun-loving Bee Gee" (By Greg Quill - Toronto Star- Jan 13 2003)
Maurice Gibb, the "funny brother" in the famously successful family pop trio the Bee Gees, was noted for his penchant for hats, a humorous irreverence and love of life.  The group's bassist, keyboardist and occasional drummer died yesterday in a Miami, Fla., hospital from a heart attack while undergoing emergency surgery to remove an intestinal blockage. He was 53. Though not a writer of hit songs, Gibb is credited with adding an indefinable dynamic to the instantly recognizable harmonies for which the Bee Gees (short for Brothers Gibb) — which included older brother Barry and Maurice's twin brother, Robin — are acclaimed.

"To our extended family friends and fans, with great sadness and sorrow we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning," Gibb's family said in a statement. "His love, enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him."

Gibb had been in critical condition since suffering cardiac arrest on Thursday just before surgery. He died yesterday morning at Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The Bee Gees are said to be the most successful writers and performers of pop hits in music history after The Beatles, whom they had emulated as youngsters growing up in Australia, where the family had emigrated in the late 1950s from Britain. As all-time musical revenue generators, the Bee Gees are rated Number 5.

Gibb's death comes just a year after the trio toured the world celebrating some 40 years in the business, and performed on an acclaimed live special on the U.S. A&E specialty channel. His passing puts an end to the Bee Gees.

After more than 30 years of riding musical trends and reinventing themselves in numerous styles, the three Gibb brothers, sons of English bandleader Hugh Gibb, were knighted last year by the Queen.

Twenty-four years ago yesterday, at the height of their popularity during the disco craze inspired by their 40-million-selling soundtrack for the movie Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees were celebrated with their own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Gibb was a reformed alcoholic and former cocaine user who proudly wore an Alcoholics Anonymous badge since his recovery more than a decade ago, and spoke openly about his addictions and their effects on his career, health and family.  In a recent interview, Gibb said he suffered an alcoholic relapse after the death of the fourth and youngest Gibb brother, Andy, in Florida in 1988 at age 30, but quit drinking again in 1991.

Andy Gibb, considered the "golden boy" of the family, died of myocarditis, a heart condition. He too had been treated for cocaine and alcohol addiction. "I had my last drink, and I've never lived a better life," Gibb said in a 2001 interview. He said John Lennon introduced him to scotch and Coke when he was 17. "Even if it was cyanide, I would have drunk it."

Gibb fell ill at his home — a sprawling villa estate with a lake and a tennis court — on Wednesday.  His second wife, Yvonne, 51, was with him when he collapsed with severe stomach cramps.

The couple has been together since the mid-1970s when they met after a Bee Gees performance in Yorkshire. They have a son, Adam, 25, and a daughter, Samantha, 26, both songwriters. The family was present when Gibb passed away at 1 a.m.

In contrast to his brothers, who alternated as lead vocalists, Gibb was almost exclusively a backing vocalist for his 40-year career. However, he was essential to the group's sound from the beginning, sharing arranging chores with his brothers and playing bass on most of their recordings and in most of the group's live performances. He also played guitar, piano, organ, and Mellotron on their records, and drums on their demos. He was known as the trio's resident comedian and practical joker, and displayed a cunning sense of humour.

When Robin Gibb split from his brothers in the late 1960s after an acrimonious and very public dispute, Barry and Maurice Gibb carried on as a two-man version of the Bee Gees, producing one album together, Cucumber Castle, before they too parted company. Gibb started work on a solo LP, which was never formally issued, and released a single, "Railroad", co-written with songwriter and singer Billy Lawrie, the brother of the British pop-rock legend Lulu, who became Gibb's wife in 1969. They divorced after four years.

Born in Douglas, Isle of Man, Gibb moved with his family in the early 1950s to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. The trio's first paid performance was at the Manchester Gaumont in 1958, miming to Tommy Steele's "Wedding Bells." The Gibbs moved to Australia later that year. In Brisbane, the brothers worked talent shows, mimicking the Everly Brothers and occasionally performing as the Bee Gees. Signed to Australia's Festival Records in 1962, the trio released a dozen singles and two albums in the next five years, writing and recording their own material. They were popular youngsters, beloved as much for their unusual harmonies and enormous smiles as for the twins' prominent overbites, and even hosted a weekly Australian TV variety show. But their records went unnoticed until 1967, when "Spicks and Specks" hit Number 1 after the Bee Gees had already returned to England and had been taken on by a new manager, Robert Stigwood, then employed by the Beatles' NEMS Enterprises.

They made their BBC Top of the Pops debut with "New York Mining Disaster 1941." Stigwood guided the brothers' careers with an unsteady but ultimately lucky hand, forcing them — after a string of big ballad hits such as "To Love Somebody", "Massachusetts", "Words", "I've Got to Get a Message to You", "I Started a Joke" "Lonely Days" and "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" — into writing the songs for a low-budget movie he wanted to produce based on a magazine story about a New York loser who finds moral redemption and self-esteem on the disco floor.

The album, Saturday Night Fever, in which the brothers intuitively restyled American rhythm 'n' blues dance forms to their own lush vocal style as they had done with their previous album, Main Course and the songs "Jive Talkin'" and "Nights On Broadway", yielded hit after hit — "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", "More Than A Woman" and "How Deep Is Your Love", and established the trio as icons of the disco era.

It was a title they never sought, and it carried them into oblivion when the disco craze faded. "All that stuff we did for Fever was R & B," Gibb said recently. "We weren't disco. We never heard the word disco. KC and the Sunshine Band, the Village People and Donna Summer — they were disco to us. It was all that happy dance music that would go on longer than the normal record. And we thought that was disco. "We knew about the R & B from the Stylistics, Delphonics, so forth. And that falsetto voice, but it was black, and it was R & B, it's soul and that's been our influence for years."

The group has won seven Grammy Awards. The Bee Gees last album, This is Where I Came In, was released in 2001.

The brothers, who run a music production company in Miami called Middle Ear Studios, wrote and produced songs for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick in the 1980s. They also wrote the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit "Islands in the Stream" and recently wrote and recorded with Canada's Céline Dion.

The Bee Gees released three studio albums and went on a world tour in the 1990s. The live album from the tour One Night Only, sold more than 1 million albums in the United States.

"I am always the decider," Gibb said last year. "I decide. This is just the way we lived. It's just been our life that I always end up being the man in the middle. They call me the engine."
"Bee Gees Maurice Gibb Dies (This is Somerset, Jan 12 2002)
Bee Gee Maurice Gibb has died in hospital in Florida. The 53-year-old had been in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a heart attack during an operation to remove an intestinal blockage after he collapsed at his Florida home last week. His wife Yvonne and his two children had been with him at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami since the surgery on Thursday night.

A statement released by his family said: "It is with great sadness and sorrow that we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning. "His love and enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him."

On Saturday his family and fans outside the hospital were hopeful that he was showing signs of recovery as he opened his eyes for a brief time and squeezed his daughter's hand. The family statement said that he died at 1am.

A spokesman for Maurice's twin brother and fellow Bee Gee Robin, said: "It's a huge shock to us all and completely unexpected. Robin and his family have flown out to Miami and everyone is just devastated."

As a member of the Bee Gees, Maurice Gibb had been one of the best-known faces in British showbusiness for the last four decades.He, Robin and elder brother Barry, started their singing careers in the 1950s, earning their name from a previous incarnation as the Brothers Gibb.Their distinctive, close-harmony singing became their trademark and survived musical fashion and family rifts. Their hits include the soundtrack to the film of the disco phenomenon Saturday Night Fever.
"Mort d'un Bee Gees" (Le Nouvel Observateur, 12 Jan 2003)
Maurice Gibb, l'un des membres du trio familial The Bee Gees est décédé dimanche à l'âge de 53 ans.

Les Bee Gees ne sont plus que deux. Maurice Gibb, l'un des trois frères du groupe célèbre dans les années 1970 pour des tubes tels que "Stayin' Alive", "How Deep Is Your Love" ou "Night Fever", a succombé dimanche matin à un arrêt cardiaque peu avant de subir une intervention d'urgence. Il avait 53 ans.
L'artiste était hospitalisé en unité de soins intensifs depuis mercredi pour une occlusion intestinale au Mount Sinai Medical Center, à Miami Beach en Floride, et avait été opéré jeudi.
"A notre famille, nos amis et fans, c'est avec une grande tristesse et douleur que nous annonçons la disparition de Maurice Gibb ce matin", a écrit sa famille dans un communiqué. "Son amour, son enthousiasme et son énergie pour la vie restent une source d'inspiration pour nous tous. Il nous manquera profondément".
Né en décembre 1949 en Grande-Bretagne, Maurice Gibb jouait de la basse et du clavier au sein des Bee Gees, abréviation des "Brothers Gibb" (les "BG's"). Avec ses frères Robin -son jumeau- et Barry, il vivait dans le sud de la Floride depuis la fin des années 1970. Le benjamin, Andy, qui a connu le succès en solo, est mort en 1988 à l'âge de 30 ans à la suite de problèmes cardiaques.

100 millions de disques

La famille Gibb avait quitté l'Angleterre pour émigrer vers l'Australie en 1958 et les frères Gibb, qui avaient monté un groupe à l'adolescence, avaient rapidement connu le succès, avant de revenir en Angleterre dans les années 60.
Ceux qu'Elton John surnommait les "Beverly Sisters" ont fait -et font toujours- danser des millions de personnes dans le monde avec leurs mélodies et leurs harmonies vocales. Les Bee Gees, qui ont connu plusieurs retours en grâce, représentent quelque 100 millions de disques vendus et la bande originale du film "La Fièvre du samedi soir" ("Saturday Night Fever") à laquelle ils avaient contribué en 1977 est aujourd'hui encore la BO la plus vendue de l'histoire, avec plus de 40 millions de copies vendues.
Leur livraison suivante, en 1978, "Spirits Having Flown", s'est vendue à 20 millions d'exemplaires. Parmi leurs grands succès, figurent également "More Than a Woman", ou "I Started a Joke". L'album live "One Night Only", issu d'une tournée, s'est écoulé à plus d'un million d'exemplaires aux Etats-Unis en 1998. Leur dernier album, "This Is Where I Came In", remonte à 2001.
Les frères Gibb ont par ailleurs écrit et composé des chansons pour Barbra Streisand ("Fool"), Diana Ross ("Chain Reaction") et Dionne Warwick ("Heartbreaker") dans les années 1980 et chanté avec Céline Dion "Immortality" pour son album "Let's Talk about Love" sorti en 1997. On leur doit également le tube de Kenny Rogers et Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream", qui s'est écoulé à plus d'un million d'exemplaires.

Tourments

Au sein du groupe, Barry chantait généralement la mélodie, Robin la basse et Maurice la voix de tête. Maurice Gibb était considéré comme le clown du groupe, mais avait souvent sombré dans l'alcool au cours de ses quelque quarante ans de carrière. "Après la mort d'Andy, cela a empiré. Je buvais et buvais jusqu'à me noyer l'esprit", disait-il.
Dans une interview accordée en 1978 à TG Magazine, il s'était aussi élevé contre "ceux qui accusent (les Bee Gees) de n'être rien de plus qu'un nouveau groupe disco".
Chris Hutchins, ancien agent des Bee Gees, a souligné que Maurice Gibb était "une âme très tourmentée. Il n'était pas la star (des Bee Gees)", a-t-il confié à la BBC. "Et il le savait, il le sentait".
Le porte-parole de Robin Gibb, Pete Bassett, a expliqué que son décès était "totalement inattendu". "Robin et sa famille se sont envolés pour Miami et tout le monde est dévasté" par sa disparition. La première femme de Maurice Gibb était la chanteuse britannique Lulu. Avec sa seconde épouse Yvonne, qu'il avait épousée voilà plus de 20 ans, l'artiste avait eu deux enfants.
Pour Pete Bassett, "Maurice était membre d'une des familles les plus influentes de l'histoire de la musique, sa mort est une perte immense".
Le groupe a remporté sept Grammy Awards au cours de sa carrière et fait son entrée dans le Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, panthéon de la gloire rock, en 1997. Malgré la disparition de Maurice Gibb, le mythe devrait donc "rester vivant". (AP)

"Muere Maurice Gibb, uno de los tres miembros de los legendarios Bee Gees" (By Fernando Martín, El País, Jan 13 2003)
El bajista, teclista y responsable de los arreglos vocales del grupo falleció a los 53 años.

Maurice Ernest Gibb, bajista y teclista del grupo británico Bee Gees, falleció en la madrugada del pasado sábado al domingo en el hospital Monte Sinaí de Miami, ciudad en la que residía. Gibb sufrió un ataque cardíaco mientras estaba siendo sometido a una intervención quirúrgica para tratarle la obstrucción intestinal que le obligó a hospitalizarse por sorpresa el pasado martes, según han informdo su familia y portavoces del citado hospital. Maurice tenía 53 años, estaba casado en segunas nupcias con Yvonne Spenceley y tenía dos hijos: Adam, de 27 años, y Samantha, de 23.

Si bien sus hermanos, Barry, tres años mayor, y Robin, gemelo suyo con el que se llevaba apenas 40 minutos de diferencia, se disputaron a lo largo de la historia de los Bee Gees el privilegio de poner voz solista a cada uno de los éxitos del grupo, Maurice, sin embargo, fue fundamentalmente, areglista del material del grupo y responsable en gran medida de aquellas armonías vocales que luego se desarrollaron hacia el reconocible falsete que el trío explotó en la banda sonora original de la película Fiebre del Sábado Noche, de 1977.

Maurice y Robin nacieron el 22 de diciembre de 1949 en la localidad de Douglas, en la británica isla de Man. Eran en tercer y cuarto retoño, tras la hermana mayor Lesley y el segundo hijo Barry, del matrimonio compuesto por Hugh, batería de profesión, y Barbara Gibb. Tras trasladarse a Manchester, la familia tuvo al último componente, el benjamín Andy. Los tres hermanos comenzarían a destacar pronto cantando. Sin embargo, las circunstancias económicas les harían emigrar pronto a Brisbane (Australia). El trío inició allí su precoz carrera. Sus primeros sencillos entraron en las listas de éxitos australianas, pero hasta "Spicks and Specks" no legaron al primer puesto.

Bee Gees First, su primer elepé oficial, apareció en 1967 y ya incluía una de las canciones de la que más versiones se han hecho en la historia del pop: "To love somebody". Este album fue el principio de una larga carrera de 40 años de grandes resultados: siete premios Grammy y 16 nominaciones. Bee Gees han producido y compuesto seis temas que se han convertido en números uno consecutivos, han ganado siete discos de platino y cinco de multiplatino, son los únicos en haber tenido simultáneamente cinco de sus composiciones dentro de las 10 mejores canciones en las listas mundiales de popularidad, su disco Fiebre del Sábado Noche ha vendido la friolera de 40 millones de copias en todo el mundo...

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