MAURICE GIBB (1949 - 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 in a Florida hospital on Sunday, January 12, 2003. He was 53. Gibb had been admitted to Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, four days earlier to have emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage. He suffered cardiac arrest before the operation.
Maurice, twin Robin and older brother Barry, were The Bee Gees, whose name is short for the Brothers Gibb. Maurice played bass and keyboard, as well as sang some vocals for the group.
Born on the Isle of Man, 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. No.1 song, 1971's How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. Known for their close harmonies and original sound, the Bee Gees are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won seven Grammy Awards.
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. Among their hits are the haunting New York Mining Disaster 1941 and I Started a Joke. 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.
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. Their last album was in 2001, titled This Is Where I Came In.
Gibb's first wife was British singer Lulu. He is survived by his second wife, Yvonne, and their two children. He was predeceased by a younger brother, Andy, who died in 1988 at age 30 from a heart ailment.
Maurice Gibb: December 22, 1949 - January 12, 2003