Robin Gibb, one-third of fraternal British/Australian '70s disco-pop superstars the Bee Gees, fell into a coma Friday night in a private London hospital, according to wire services.
Reuters reports that Gibb, 62, is surrounded by his family. He was hospitalized for pneumonia earlier this earlier this week after battling both colon and liver cancer. Robin's fraternal twin Maurice Gibb died in 2003 and younger brother Andy, who was not part of the Bee Gees but later became a pop star in his own right, died of heart failure in 1988 at only age 30. The eldest Bee Gee, Barry Gibb, flew to London to be with Robin, NME reported.
"Our prayers are with Robin," a friend of the family told UK newspaper The Sun, which first broke the news. Gibb's representative confirmed the reports to CNN.
The Bee Gees started out in the late '50s after their family relocated from England to Australia. After reinventing themselves as a Beatlesque band in the mid-'60s, they had several Top 10 hits in the late '60s ("I've Gotta Get a Message to You," "I Started a Joke," before reaching No. 1 in 1971 with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart."
Later in the '70s, though, the group shattered chart and sales records right and left with blockbuster disco singles including "Jive Talkin'" and "Nights on Broadway," both from 1975. Then the Bee Gees' soundtrack to 1977 film Saturday Night Fever spawned two No. 1 singles in "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever," becoming a cultural phenomenon with sales in excess of 25 million copies.
General estimates of the Bee Gees' total record sales start at around 200 million. Although they did not tour behind the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, the group's tour for their next album, Spirits Having Flown, visited the Summit on June 30, 1979.
One of Gibb's sons, Spencer Gibb, is a musician in Austin who led the rock-soul band 54 Seconds for many years.
"I realized there was something different [about my family] when other kids' moms started hitting on my dad, and I started getting beaten up," he told the Austin Chronicle in 2007 when 54 Seconds' third LP, Postcards from California, came out. "When somebody starts punching you in the face and singing 'Staying Alive,' you realize there's a problem."
Spencer has preparing to release his first solo album, Beautiful Mess, and an untitled companion EP, but is currently in London with his family.
"On behalf of Spencer, I would first like to thank everyone for all of the love and support that has been given, for both the music and the man. It has neither gone un-noticed nor un-appreciated," Spencer's Director of Operations and Musical Director, Aaron Frescas, posted on Facebook on April 8.
"Lately, it has been no secret that Spencer's father, Robin, has been ill. Spencer has been at the side of his father and his family and will remain so for as long as he is needed."
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