(RNN) - Robin Gibb, whose vibrato comprised one-third of the harmony behind the legendary group the Bee Gees, has died according to a statement on his website and a family spokesman.
"The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time," family spokesman Doug Wright said.
Gibb suffered a number of health ailments in recent months, including advanced colorectal cancer. In March, he underwent intestinal surgery to remove a blood clot in his colon.
He contracted pneumonia and fell into a coma on April 13, but "confounded" doctors, waking up nearly two weeks later.
"I warned Robin's wife, Dwina, son, Robin John and brother, Barry, that I feared the worst," said Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam, Gibb's physician and gastroenterologist.
"It is testament to Robin's extraordinary courage, iron will and deep reserves of physical strength that he has overcome quite incredible odds to get where he is now."
Gibb was too sick to attend the Titanic Requiem concert April 10 in London, which celebrated the release of his first classical work. He composed the album with his son to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and was slated to perform a song at the event.
The Brothers Gibb - twins Robin and Maurice and older brother Barry - sold more than 200 million albums during their career and in many ways, defined the sound of the 1970s.
The band became synonymous with disco, but they started out in the 60s as a British pop-influenced band, much like the Beatles.
In 1969, Robin Gibb would also strike out on a solo career and garner his first hit with "Saved By The Bell." The song hit No. 2 on the British charts.
In the 70s, Robin Gibb would rejoin his brothers and crank out their first No. 1 hit together, "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?"
In time, the band would retool their sound and become the soundtrack of dance halls everywhere.
They hit their commercial stride on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack with hits like "Stayin' Alive," "Night Fever" and "How Deep Is Your Love?" defined largely by the signature falsetto of Barry Gibb. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Both Robin and Maurice Gibb suffered from twisted intestines. Maurice died in 2003 from problems related to the condition.
Younger brother and fellow singer Andy Gibb died in 1988 from inflammation of the heart.
In a March interview, Robin Gibb told the Daily Mail he had been diagnosed in 2010 with cancer , but it had gone into remission after surgery and chemotherapy.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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