The Gibb brothers, including Robin, who died on Monday, helped define the disco era with their falsetto harmonies and funky beats on smash hits such as Stayin' Alive and Jive Talkin'.
Robin died after a long fight with cancer. He was 62. His twin brother Maurice died in 2003 and he is survived by his eldest brother Barry.
Gibb had colon and liver cancer and, despite brief improvements in his health in recent months, died on Monday.
"The family of Robin Gibb . . . announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery," a statement posted on his official website said.
Hundreds of tributes poured on to the Twitter micro-blogging site, including from record labels and fellow musicians, and at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, the show was stopped for a moment of silence as a large black-and-white picture of Gibb was displayed.
Neil Portnow, chief executive of Grammy organisation the Recording Academy, said the six-time winner of the industry's highest award, "had an indelible impact on music".
"His distinctive vibrato voice was part of the trio's signature harmony," Portnow said. Fans "will continue to sing and dance to his music that will be Stayin' Alive for many generations to come."
Gibb spent much of a career spanning six decades pursuing solo projects. But it was his part in one of pop's most successful brother acts, the Bee Gees, that earned him fame and fortune.
Born in 1949 on the Isle of Man, Robin and his family moved to Manchester where the brothers performed in local cinemas.
They went to live in Australia where the Bee Gees as a group was officially born, and in 1963 released the first single The Battle Of The Blue And The Grey.
Believing their future lay in Europe, the Gibb brothers travelled to England to pursue a career in music and had their first British No 1 with Massachusetts in 1967.
Rather than build on the early successes, the Bee Gees almost threw away the promising career they had achieved.
After recording the double-LP set Odessa, the siblings fell out over which track should be the single and Robin walked out. Two years later they were back together, and the 1970s was to belong to them.
Early in the decade they released the ballads Lonely Days and How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, which topped United States charts in 1971.
In 1975, the Bee Gees changed course with an emphasis on dance-friendly tunes featuring high harmonies on their 13th album Main Course.
It produced the catchy chart-topper Jive Talkin', which then led to an invitation to contribute to the soundtrack for the upcoming movie Saturday Night Fever.
The Bee Gees' contributions would prove the pinnacle of their fame - Stayin' Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever and More Than a Woman are all among their most recognisable songs, featuring distinctive high vocals and harmonies.
The combination of the movie, starring John Travolta, and the Bee Gees' hits helped launch the disco phenomenon the world over. – Reuters
- © Fairfax NZ News