Barry Gibb's Life in Photos

The founding member of the Bee Gees has led quite the life

01 of 10

Barry Gibb's Early Years

Photo of Barry gibb from The Bee Gees posed in 1964.
GAB Archive/Redferns

Barry Gibb was born on the Isle of Man on Sept. 1, 1946, to Hugh and Barbara. The couple's third child — he has an older sister and an older brother who died as an infant — he was eventually joined by twins Robin and Maurice and younger brother Andy. In the late 1950s, his family moved to Australia, where he, Maurice and Robin began to gain notoriety as the singing group the Bee Gees.

02 of 10

The Bee Gees' Beginnings

Brothers 12-year-old Barry Gibb and 9-year-old twins Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb from Redcliffe, who later became the 'Bee Gees', pictured in Brisbane, Queensland after rocking the radio and record world with a private recording of a 'rockabilly song' which they wrote themselves.
Jim Fenwick/Newspix/Getty

Encouraged by their musician dad, the brothers began performing locally when Barry was 9 and his siblings were just 6. By 1966, they had a television show and a record deal in Australia, so in 1967 they returned to the U.K. in search of more opportunities.

03 of 10

The Bee Gees Take Off in the 1960s

Photo of BEE GEES posed in 1971. Top to bottom: Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb.
GAB Archive/Redferns

After that, there was no turning back: their popularity around the world soared as they churned out sweetly harmonized hits like "Massachusetts" and "Words."

"We're fully aware that our music is almost totally commercial. We write for the present," Barry told PEOPLE.

But fame took a toll, too, and the brothers briefly split up at the end of 1969.

"We'd become enemies — the magic was lost," Barry told PEOPLE. But, added Maurice, they discovered they "weren't cut out to be solo stars." So by 1970 they were back together, gaining even more notoriety with singles including "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart."

04 of 10

Barry Gibb Marries Linda Gray

Singer Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees marries Linda Gray, 1st September 1970.
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty

After he finalized his divorce from first wife Maureen Bates, whom he wed in 1966, Gibb tied the knot with former Miss Edinburgh Linda Gray (pictured) on Sept. 1, 1970.

05 of 10

Barry Gibb's Family

Barry Gibb Of The Bee Gees Pop Group With Wife Linda Gibb And Alexandra Gibb Their Baby Daughter. Also Shows The Couples Other Children Stephen Gibb Ashley Gibb Travis Gibb And Michael Gibb 1992.
Chris Barham/ANL/Shutterstock

Together, Barry and Linda have five children now ranging in age from 31 to 49: Stephen, Ashley, Travis, Michael and Alexandra.

06 of 10

The Bee Gees in the 1970s

Grammy winners 2/15 the Bee Gees, brothers Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb hold their Grammy for their Album of the Year Award, "Saturday Night Fever," the largest selling soundtrack in album history with 15-million sold. The Bee Gees won four Grammys but lost out to Billy Joel and the song "Just the Way You Are" for the coveted awards for Record and Song of the Year.

The '70s saw the band take a musical turn, as their Saturday Night Fever soundtrack released in 1977 cemented them in disco history.

"The world wanted to dance," the brothers told PEOPLE at the time. "Lawyers and judges and people who never buy albums, normally, were buying Saturday Night Fever and taking dance lessons."

The album topped the Billboard 200 in 1978 and won the group three Grammys, including album of the year. Casey Kasem of American Top 40 dubbed them the "brothers with the platinum tonsils."

But with fame comes backlash, and former fans turned on the group as the disco boom faded.

"To have the music loved so much and then rejected out of hand within a decade ...," Barry told PEOPLE in 1997. "You're determined to show it's not over."

07 of 10

Barry Gibb with Andy Gibb

Singer Andy Gibb (C) with brothers Barry (R) and Maurice holding a cake emblazoned with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat logo during time Andy was performing in the Broadway production of same.
Robin Platzer/Getty

As the brothers' star rose so did that of their younger brother Andy (center, with Maurice), who sometimes performed with the trio and even released several hits of his own, including "I Just Want to Be Your Everything." However, the singer died on March 10, 1988, from complications related to drug addiction. He was 30 years old.

"Andy is out there, somewhere," Barry, who wrote many of his brother's songs, told PEOPLE in 1989. "When you lose someone close to you, your concept of death is changed. You can't believe it is just dust."

Andy's death marked the first in a string of tragedies that would follow in Barry's adult life.

08 of 10

Barry Gibb as a Soloist

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees
LGI Stock/Corbis/VCG via Getty

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, long after Barry started on some solo work and again gained credibility for writing and collaborating with other stars, like Barbra Streisand on her 1980 album Guilty.

"He is the only person I know who can write songs, produce them and sing on them," she told PEOPLE in 2005.

09 of 10

The Bee Gees Are Made CBEs

The two surviving members of the Bee Gees, Robin Gibb (L) and Barry Gibb (R) hold their CBE's along with Adam Gibb who received the honour on behalf of his father, the late Maurice Gibb, at Buckingham Palace, London, 27 May, 2004. All three brothers were awarded CBE's although Maurice Gibb died last year before he could receive the honour.

In January of 2003, tragedy struck again when Maurice died of a heart attack while preparing for surgey at age 53. One year later, Robin and Barry were joined by Maurice's son, Adam (center), to be made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles.

"It's bittersweet. It would have been wonderful for all three of us to be here," Barry shared afterward, per CBS. "We have mixed feelings. Knowing Mo, this would have been right up his alley."

He also shared that Maurice's death marked a true end for the band. "We are not the Bee Gees now, in respect for Mo," he said. "Maybe the time's just right for a bit of free flight. Maybe at some point we will do something together."

10 of 10

Barry Gibb Now

Pictured in this screengrab: Singer Barry Gibb during an interview on December 18, 2020
NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Though Robin and Barry collaborated once in awhile in the years that followed, the Bee Gees officially came to an end in 2012 when Robin died from cancer at the age of 62.

Now 76, Barry continues to make music, releasing a country-tinged album entitled Greenfields in 2020 and participating in an HBO documentary about his life and fame, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, that same year.

"After Rob died, I just sat moping around thinking that was the end of it and I would just fade away," he told the Daily Mail in 2016. But now, he has a different mantra: "Live in the moment. Grab every moment, because you see what happens."

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