Maurice Gibb was a member of one of the most successful pop music acts of all time. He was bass player and vocalist for the Bee Gees. With world-wide record sales exceeding 110 million and 19 number one hits, they are among the top five of the most successful artistes of all time, along with The Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson and Sir Paul McCartney. The group wrote and produced six consecutive Number One singles in the United States through the 1970s
Maurice Gibb, the Bee Gees' bass guitarist and keyboard player and his twin, Robin, were born into a musical family in the Isle of Man on December 22, 1949. Shortly after the birth of the youngest brother, Andy, in 1958, the family emigrated to Australia. The Brothers Gibb (later shortened to the Bee Gees) achieved some success in their new homeland including a 1966 number one, Spick And Speck, and were then voted group of the year in Australia for 1967.
They were keen to conquer the pop industry outside of Australia and in London, in 1967, they signed a management contract with entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, a partner of the Beatles’ Brian Epstein, who secured them a record deal with Polydor.
The group immediately began to deliver a number of chart topping hits. New York Mining Disaster 1941 was followed by To Love Somebody, Massachusetts (their first British number one), Holiday and Words. Their early albums, Bee Gees 1st, Horizontal and Idea, all made the UK and US top ten albums. During a 16-month period, the Bee Gees chalked up Number One hits in 15 countries.
After a split to pursue individual interests in the late 1960s the Bee Gees reunited and had occasional successes with songs like How Can You Mend A Broken Heart which became a US number one in 1971. This was an exception though, and through the early 1970s, they struggled until their album, Children of the World, went platinum with three hit singles, including You Should be Dancing. It was the catalyst for the soundtrack to the film, Saturday Night Fever, their most successful project. Several of the tracks, including Night Fever and How Deep is Your Love, went to Number One, while the album eventually sold 30 million copies worldwide.
By the early 1980s, they had become a cliché for the disco era. So they focused on writing and production, including Diana Ross's Chain Reaction. They then had another Bee Gees British number one in 1987, with You Win Again.
The group continued making hits into the 1990s, with the likes of One, Secret Love and For Whom The Bell Tolls. Their last album together, This Is Where I Came In, was released in 2001.
Last year, they were each awarded the CBE, received an American Lifetime Achievement Award, a Brit Award and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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