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Barry Gibb Turned 76 — He Was Scared to Die after Bee Gees Brothers' Deaths & Wife Helped Him Move past Loss

Esther NJeri
Sep 05, 2022
08:20 P.M.
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Bee Gee's Barry Gibbs recently celebrated his 76th birthday. Being the oldest of the brothers, he is the only one alive after they all died from various causes. He was lucky to have found his wife, former Miss Edinburg, Linda Gray, who kept him in line.

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British musician Barry Gibbs celebrated a milestone as he turned 76 on September 1, 2022. Following a Facebook post wishing him a wonderful birthday, fans took to the comment section to pass their good wishes, hoping he lived many more years.

Fans who have been ardent followers of the Bee Gees, one of the most commercially successful groups, helped celebrate the big day with him. And they trickled in in plenty.

Singer and songwriter Barry Gibb poses for a photo ahead of being knighted during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Singer and songwriter Barry Gibb poses for a photo ahead of being knighted during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

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While he still has not hung up his singing coat, releasing his third solo album in 2021, Gibb rose to fame as part of the three-man group Bee Gees' comprising of him and his two brothers.

The Successful Music Career of the Bee Gees'

Gibbs was one of the three-member group Bee Gee's, which rose to fame in the late 1960s and even influenced much of the disco craze of the 80s. Comprising three brothers, Barry Gibbs and fraternal twins Robin and Maurice, the group became one of the most listened to groups of all time.

The Bee Gees found the limelight from their connection as brothers, other than collaborating with other musicians, like many other groups that found fame at the time did. They may also have been lucky to inherit some musical DNA from their drummer and bandleader father and their gifted singer mother.

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The popular disco band, The Bee Gees, pose for a portrait | Source: Getty Images

The popular disco band, The Bee Gees, pose for a portrait | Source: Getty Images

What stands is that they found fame all on their own, through pure talent and ambition. Neighbors recall Gibbs strumming his tennis racket as his brothers followed him around. But the trio only realized their full potential after the family moved to Manchester, England, in 1955.

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By 1959, Gibb was playing his guitar, while his brothers used their vocals to attract crowds to buy sodas. There, they drew the attention of Bill Goode, who hired them to perform their songs at the Redcliffe Speedway racetrack.

They formed the group name "The BGs" — this would later change to the spelled out version "Bee Gee's," in later years — and after performing at outdoor exhibitions, they started gaining traction in the industry. They even began appearing on TV shows such as "Cottie's Happy Hour," and "Anything Goes."

The popular disco band, The Bee Gees, pose for a portrait | Source: Getty Images

The popular disco band, The Bee Gees, pose for a portrait | Source: Getty Images

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On March 22, 1963, Bee Gees' released the song "The Battle of the Blue and the Grey." While it charted modestly, it threw them into unprecedented international stardom, making them household names.

However, with fame came the downsides. Gibbs brothers all struggled with this or that addiction. Maurice fancied scotch and coke, which would soon become an addiction, while Robin was overly fond of amphetamines.

Andy, who was not part of the group but rode on his brothers' fame to launch a successful solo career, also suffered from cocaine addiction. Of all the brothers, Gibb escaped unscathed by the demon of addiction, thanks to his wife, Linda.

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Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees pop group, with his fiance, Linda Gray, 18. December 26, 1968. | Source: Getty Images

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees pop group, with his fiance, Linda Gray, 18. December 26, 1968. | Source: Getty Images

Gibb and Linda met in London, during the taping of the BBC's "Top of the Pops" and married on September 1, 1970, his 24th birthday. Gibb considers himself lucky to have married her and says of their first meeting:

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"When we first saw each other, I thought it was love at first sight. I thought then, 'That is the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with.' It did not matter about showbusiness."

Singer Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees marries Linda Gray, 1st September 1970. | Source: Getty Images

Singer Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees marries Linda Gray, 1st September 1970. | Source: Getty Images

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He admits that while his brothers battled their demons, he was not safe. He would have easily gone down the same path, but Linda would not let him. He recalls bringing drugs to the house, but Linda would find and flush them down the toilet. He recalled:

“My brothers had to deal with their demons, but I was married to a lady who wasn’t going to have it."

The Devastating Loss of His Brothers

Gibb has experienced immeasurable loss, not only from losing his bandmates but also losing his dear brothers. Following their addictions, the three brothers eventually met their untimely demise.

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Portrait of the band Bee Gees formed by British-born Australian singers, musicians and composers, the brothers Barry, Robin, Maurice and Andy Gibb. Rome, 1972 | Source: Getty Images

Portrait of the band Bee Gees formed by British-born Australian singers, musicians and composers, the brothers Barry, Robin, Maurice and Andy Gibb. Rome, 1972 | Source: Getty Images

Andy passed on first, meeting his untimely death on 10, 1988, only five days after his 30th birthday. He had suffered from drug addiction and depression for some time before his death, caused by heart inflammation.

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Robin Gibb was the band's lead singer and wrote many of its songs. His final project was a musical paying tribute to the victims of the Titanic tragedy. Unfortunately, he could not attend the musical premiere due to health problems. He suffered from pneumonia for a while and lost his life to kidney failure on May 20, 2012, at 62.

Maurice died in 2003, aged 53, from a cardiac arrest that resulted from a twisted intestine. Gibb shared that having been glued to his brothers for years, he was devastated to lose all three of them.

Barry Gibb attends the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards 2018 at Grosvenor House, on July 6, 2018 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Barry Gibb attends the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards 2018 at Grosvenor House, on July 6, 2018 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

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He shared that his brothers' losses left him mopping around for a few months, and none of the family knew how to deal with the grief. He also admits how much he regrets that he was not on good terms with each of his brothers during their deaths. He shared:

"My greatest regret is that every brother I’ve lost was in a moment when we weren’t getting on, so I have to live with that and I’ll spend the rest of my life reflecting on that."

Barry Gibb attends the Nordoff Robbins' O2 Silver Clef Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on June 30, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Barry Gibb attends the Nordoff Robbins' O2 Silver Clef Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on June 30, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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However, what baffles him is that he is the eldest of his brothers, yet he is the only one that is still alive today. He shared:

"I’m the last man standing. I’ll never be able to understand that as I’m the eldest"

He was lucky to have his wife by his side as he mourned his brothers and remains forever grateful to her. Just like she had stood with him and prevented him from taking the wrong path decades earlier, she stood with him in his grief and supported him as he dealt with the loss.

Barry Gibb and Linda Gibb attend day 11 of Wimbledon 2017 on July 14, 2017 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

Barry Gibb and Linda Gibb attend day 11 of Wimbledon 2017 on July 14, 2017 in London, England | Source: Getty Images

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Years after his brothers passed on, Gibb shares that he is still getting over their deaths. In 2016, the singer disclosed that he and his wife often saw "disturbing" visions of Robin and Andy.

He remains unsure of what the visions mean and wonders if they are a manifestation of life after death. Even so, what remains apparent is that he is even more afraid of dying since witnessing his brothers' deaths.

The singer does everything he can to avoid death. He drives slowly and is especially scared to boil a kettle. "I don't know why I am still here, but I am very nervous about anything that could be fatal," he adds.

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