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Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb has died after losing a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 62.

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Gibb, who sold more than 200 million records and notched up dozens of hits with brothers Maurice and Barry, had recently undergone intestinal surgery.

His family announced his tragic death with “great sadness” yesterday prompting an outpouring of emotion from fans and fellow members of the music industry.

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said the performer and songwriter was “talented beyond even his own understanding” and dubbed him as “one of the important figures in the history of British music”.

Stars including rock star Bryan Adams and singer songwriter Mick Hucknall also paid emotional tributes.

A statement released by Gibb’s loved-ones said: “The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

The Bee Gees’ song catalogue, which includes Massachusetts, I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You, Lonely Days, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, How Deep Is Your Love and Stayin’ Alive, led to their induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Gambaccini said: “Everyone should be aware that the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music.

“Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, the list goes on and on.

Radio disc jockey Mike Read, who was a family friend of Gibb, said the singer had an “incredible voice”.

“Robin had the voice, the pathos, and he was a great writer,” he added in remarks to BBC Radio 5 Live.

“In his head he could come up with some great melodies. I was delighted to work with him. He had a gift for melody and a gift for lyrics and left a phenomenal legacy, a phenomenal catalogue.”

Referring to the Bee Gees, the former BBC Radio One DJ said: “They had every accolade under the sun. They were able to write great commercial songs that touched people over a very long period of time. They had every award, every gold disc, every platinum disc, the Grammys the lot and had been doing it so long but were still so good at it.”

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