The Bee Gees were a singing trio of brothers — Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The multiple award-winning group was successful for most of its forty years of recording music, but the trio had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a harmonic "soft rock" act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as the foremost stars of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang three-part tight harmonies that were instantly recognizable; brother Robin's clear vibrato lead was a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry's R&B falsetto became a signature sound during the disco years. The three brothers co-wrote most of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.
Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the family lived in various locales that included Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England, United Kingdom and Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, where they began their musical careers. After early chart success in Australia, they returned to the United Kingdom where producer Robert Stigwood promoted them to a worldwide audience. It has been estimated that the Bee Gees' record sales total more than 200 million, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; fittingly, the presenter of the award to "Britain's first family of harmony" was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, America's first family of rock harmony. Their Hall of Fame citation says "Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees".
Barry and Robin Gibb ended the group after forty-five years of activity, when Maurice suddenly died on January 12, 2003.
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