When Robin was four, the Gibb family moved to Manchester. Robin loved to play with fire and would take boxes of matches from the kitchen. His mother said he would start fires anywhere he wanted and called him a "firebug." One fire he set even went to the point of police attention.
When he was six, he began to sing three-part harmonies with Barry and Maurice, just for fun. The brothers soon formed their first band, the Rattlesnakes. During their time in Manchester, they would play at local venues and clubs, earning them a picture in the newspaper.
In 1958, right after Andy was born, the family sailed to Australia, getting settled in Morton's Bay, and then moving to Brisbane. The brothers would perform at Redcliffe Speedway in between races. They would all sing and Barry would play the guitar.
1960s: Fame, Marriage, and TragedyEdit
Their success began from that point. They were discovered by disc jockey Bill Gates and would appear on his radio show, television shows and released their first few albums during the early 1960s. One of their hit songs was "I Started a Joke," a song associated with Robin and a favorite among Robin's fans.
Soon after meeting manager Robert Stigwood, Robin began dating Molly Hullis, the receptionist at Stigwood's office. On November 5, 1967, Robin was taking Molly back home to Hastings on the Hither Green Railway when the train was derailed and crashed. Robin and Molly luckily survived that crash, in which there were 49 killed and 78 injured. Robin recalled in a 1969 interview that he is dogged with misfortune and was almost killed at least four times in his life. Robin and Molly soon started living together and got married on December 4, 1968.
The pressure of fame was pushing down on the brothers during the late sixties and they started using drugs, some of which would become illegal, to help themselves get through their hectic schedule of performances. Robin stated he never got into any "'serious' drugs like LSD or cocaine", although he would constantly collapse some nights and wake up in the hospital exhausted. His parents were extremely concerned with Robin's problems and threatened to make him a ward of court. He would soon leave the group.
In 1969, as the drug problems were going on, the brother's fourth album, Odessa was released. The title song was mostly Robin's work and the album turned out to be a success. Robin however, was angry with Robert Stigwood that the song "First of May," sung by Barry was chosen to be released as a single, instead of his song, "Lamplight." He left the group to pursue a solo career.
1970s and Saturday Night FeverEdit
In 1970, Robin released his first solo album, Robin's Reign, with the single "Saved by the Bell" reaching #2 in the UK. However, he decided to reunite with Maurice in June, and then reunite with Barry in August.
The initial post-reunion albums were not much of a success, with the brothers still individually writing songs. This break in their partnership seemed to have mended when they recorded Life In A Tin Can in Los Angeles and they reinvented themselves.
In 1972, Robin became a father. Molly gave birth to Spencer Gibb on September 21. On June 17, 1974, his second child, Melissa was born.
The late 70s showed huge success for the brothers with Saturday Night Fever. The disco era was at its peak, dominated by the Bee Gees. Robin stated in a 2007 interview, "We never heard of the word "disco," by the way, that was something the radio created when the film took off. We knew nothing about that; we were doing R&B music."
1980s and 1990sEdit
The disco era soon died out, and the brothers were seen as the target of the anti-disco backlash. The brothers decided to work with other artists and release solo work.
While still working with the group, Robin promoted his solo career, and during the 1980s he released three further solo albums (How Old Are You, Secret Agent, and Walls Have Eyes) which were more successful in Continental Europe than in the UK or USA. However, his 1984 single "Boys Do Fall in Love" did reach the Billboard top 40.
On May 22, 1980, Molly filed for divorce after years off living away from Robin, who was spending almost all of his time in the US. In 1982, he met playwright/artist Dwina Murphy, and they had a son, Robin-John, in 1983. On July 31, 1985, Robin and Dwina were married.
In 1994, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
2000s and recent workEdit
In the same week as his twin brother Maurice's sudden death, Robin's next solo album, Magnet, was released in Germany on January 27, 2003 (Label: SPV), and worldwide shortly afterwards. It features the old Bee Gees classic "Wish You Were Here" in a new acoustic version. The lead single, "Please" has eery lyrics about "loss" and was uncanny with its timing. With Maurice's death, his two surviving brothers Robin and Barry announced that they would no longer perform as the Bee Gees.
In August 2003, Robin announced that he would be releasing a new single of "My Lover's Prayer", a song first recorded by the Bee Gees in 1997, with vocals by Robin, Wanya Morris, and Lance Bass. This was played on radio, but was never actually released. In October 2003 another version was recorded as a duet with Alistair Griffin, runner-up in the UK television program Fame Academy, on which Robin had appeared as a judge. My Lover's Prayer, credited as "Alistair Griffin featuring Robin Gibb", was eventually released in the UK in January 2004 as a double A side single, together with Griffin's solo recording of "Bring It On". It reached number 5 in the UK charts. The duet was also on Griffin's debut album Bring It On which charted at number 12.
In January 2005 Robin joined his brother Barry and several other artists under the collective name of One World Project, to record a charity single in aid of Asian tsunami relief, titled "Grief Never Grows Old". Other artists who performed on the single included Boy George, Steve Winwood, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Sir Cliff Richard, Bill Wyman, America, Kenny Jones, Chicago, Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Russell Watson and Davy Spillane.
In June 2005 Gibb joined X Factor runners up G4 at a sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, singing the Bee Gees song "First of May" . A recording of this performance was released in December 2005 as part of a double A side single, credited as "G4 feat Robin Gibb" together with G4's own cover of Johnny Mathis' "When a Child is Born". This track was also included on the platinum selling album G4 & Friends which reached number 6 in the UK album charts.
In November 2006, Robin released an album of Christmas carols called Robin Gibb - My Favourite Carols, backed by London choir The Serlo Consort. The album also features a brand new song written by Robin called "Mother of Love", which was released in Europe as a download single. The song was inspired by Maurice Gibb, and is the first new Robin Gibb composition to be published since his twin brother died in January 2003. Royalties of Mother of Love will be donated to the "Janki Foundation for Global Healthcare", and Robin dedicated the song to Dadi Janki, the organisation's spiritual leader. It is also dedicated to Robin's own mother, Barbara Gibb. The album also has a bonus DVD titled A Personal Christmas Moment with Robin Gibb.
In the same week as his twin brother Maurice's sudden death, Robin's next solo album, Magnet, was released in Germany on January 27, 2003 (Label: SPV), and worldwide shortly afterwards. It features the old Bee Gees classic "Wish You Were Here" in a new acoustic version. The lead single, "Please" has eery lyrics about "loss" and was uncanny with its timing. With Maurice's death, his two surviving brothers Robin and Barry announced that they would no longer perform as the Bee Gees. He also was a special guest of the United States Independence Day Concert called "A Capitol Fourth" held on the west lawn of the US Capitol as the lead singer of "How Deep is Your Love" and "Stayin' Alive".
Robin has recently sung the vocals to the opening titles to "The Dame Edna Treatment."
Robin is a member of the Vegan Society.
2010s and Death
During 2011, Robin performed an edition of his famous song I Just Gotta Get a Message to You with the British band the Soldiers. He also began work on, along with his son, Robin-John, on The Titanic Requiem, an orchestral and vocal piece commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. He was supposed to attend its premiere on April 10, 2012, but his failing health kept him away. His health problems began on August 14, 2010, while touring in Belgium. He complained of abdominal pains and was rushed to the hospital. He underwent surgery for a blocked intestine, and he soon recovered. In November of 2011, Gibb was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. In April of 2012, Gibb contracted pnuemonia, falling into a coma. He emerged from the coma later in April, but his colorectal cancer had spread and become worse, causing him to die on May 20, 2012 of kidney and liver failure. Celebrities were quick to issue their condolences, especially music stars. The Gibb family asked for privacy as they were mourning Robin's death. Due to Robin's death, elder brother Barry is the only Gibb brother still alive and the only Bee Gee still alive.
In 1994, Robin Gibb was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1997 the Bee Gees were inducted as a group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Robin was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2001/2002 New Year's Honours List, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry. The official presentation ceremony at Buckingham Palace was delayed until 2004 owing to Maurice's death.
Robin and Barry Gibb both received Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Music from The University of Manchester in May 2004.
- February 1970: Robin's Reign. Germany #19, Canada #77
- Unreleased, 1970: Sing Slowly Sisters.
- July 1983: How Old Are You. Germany #6, Italy #13, New Zealand, Switzerland #26
- June 1984: Secret Agent. Germany #31, Switzerland #20
- November 1985: Walls Have Eyes.
- January 2003: Magnet. UK: #43, Germany #10
- July 2005: Robin Gibb with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt Orchestra Live
- November 2006: My Favourite Christmas Carols
- January 2012: The Titanic Requiem (performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
- September 2014: 50 St. Catherine's Drive. UK: #70, Germany #39, Dutch #55
- June 1969: Saved By The Bell. UK #2, Netherlands, South Africa #1, Germany #3
- November 1969: One Million Years. Netherlands #6, Germany #14
- February 1970: August, October. UK #45, Germany #12
- July 1978: Oh Darling. US #15, Chile #5
- September 1980: Help Me! (Duet with Marcy Levy). US #50
- June 1983: Juliet. UK #94, Germany, Italy, Switzerland #1, Austria #2
- October 1983: How Old Are You. UK #93, Germany #37
- January 1984: Another Lonely Night In New York. UK #71, *Germany #16, Switzerland #19
- May 1984: Boys Do Fall In Love. UK #71, US #37, South Africa #7, Italy #10, Germany #21
- August 1984: Secret Agent.
- October 1984: In Your Diary.
- November 1985: Like A Fool.
- February 1986: Toys.
- November 2002: Please. UK #23, Germany #51
- January 2003: Wait Forever.
- January 2004: A Lover's Prayer (Duet with Alistair Griffin) UK #5
- December 2005: First of May with G4
- November 2006: Mother of Love
- November 2007: Too Much Heaven (song just in Germany, with US5) Germany #7
- April 2012: Don't Cry Alone
- September 2014: I Am The World (UK)
- September 2014: Days of Wine and Roses