The Bee Gees are a musical group that was originally made up of a singing trio of brothers — Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their forty years of recording music, but they 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 recognisable; 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 brothers co-wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.
Born in the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived their first few years in Chorlton, Manchester, England, then moved in the mid-1950s to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, where they eventually began their musical careers. After achieving their first chart success in Australia with Spicks and Specks (their 12th single), they returned to the United Kingdom in January 1967 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".
Following Maurice's sudden death on 12 January 2003, Barry and Robin Gibb temporarily ended the group after forty-five years of activity. On 7 September 2009, Robin Gibb revealed that he and Barry Gibb had agreed that the Bee Gees would reform and perform again.
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