Bee Gees facts: Gibb brothers' wives, nationality, band name meaning and more revealed

15 April 2021, 18:10

Bee Gees (L to R) Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb are renowned as one of the most successful singer-songwriting groups of the 20th century.
Bee Gees (L to R) Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb are renowned as one of the most successful singer-songwriting groups of the 20th century. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Hamilton

The Bee Gees were one of the world's most successful groups of all time, but where were they from, who were they married to and why were they really called the Bee Gees?

Bee Gees Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb are renowned as one of the most successful singer-songwriting groups of the 20th century.

The brothers regularly changed their sound and remained hitmakers for themselves and other artists for decades.

See more: The greatest Bee Gees songs of all time, ranked

But just as interesting are the stories behind the hits: who the Bee Gees were married to, how much they earned and where they were from.

Here are all the facts that you need to know about the brothers Gibb:

  1. Where are the Bee Gees from?

    Bee Gee brothers (L to R) Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, and lived in Chorlton, Manchester until the late 1950s.
    Bee Gee brothers (L to R) Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, and lived in Chorlton, Manchester until the late 1950s. Picture: Getty

    Bee Gee brothers Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, and lived in Chorlton, Manchester until the late 1950s.

    The family moved to Redcliffe, in Queensland, Australia. After achieving their first chart success in Australia, they returned to the UK in 1967.

    See more: Bee Gees first TV gig: Teenage Barry Gibb and 10 year olds Robin and Maurice sing in 1960

  2. Why are they called the Bee Gees?

    Bee Gees (L to R) Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb, circa 1973.
    Bee Gees (L to R) Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb, circa 1973. Picture: Getty

    Local Australian DJ Bill Gates (not that one) renamed the brothers' group to the BG's (later changed to 'Bee Gees') after his, speedway promoter Bill Goode and Barry Gibb's initials.

    See more: Barry Gibb facts: Bee Gees singer's age, wife, children and net worth revealed

    Thus, the name was not specifically a reference to 'Brothers Gibb', despite popular belief.

  3. Which Bee Gees were twins?

    The trio had a younger brother, singer Andy Gibb (far right), who they announced would become the fourth Bee Gee in 1988.
    The trio had a younger brother, singer Andy Gibb (far right), who they announced would become the fourth Bee Gee in 1988. Picture: Getty

    Robin and Maurice Gibb were twins. Barry Gibb is three years older.

    The trio had a younger brother, singer Andy Gibb, who they announced would become the fourth Bee Gee in 1988.

    See more: When Andy Gibb joined the Bee Gees for a rare phenomenal performance of 'You Should Be Dancing'

    Sadly the four brothers never officially united. Andy Gibb died just a few months later due to drug complications, aged just 30.

  4. Which Bee Gees are still alive?

    Sadly, Maurice Gibb (left) died at the age of 53 in 2003 due to complications of a twisted intestine and Robin Gibb (centre) died aged 62 in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer.
    Sadly, Maurice Gibb (left) died at the age of 53 in 2003 due to complications of a twisted intestine and Robin Gibb (centre) died aged 62 in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer. Picture: Getty

    Sadly, Maurice Gibb died at the age of 53 in 2003 due to complications of a twisted intestine.

    Robin Gibb died aged 62 in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer.

    See more: Bee Gees' Barry Gibb emotionally speaks about losing his brothers: "I'm the last man standing"

    Barry Gibb is still performing, and was awarded a knighthood in 2017.

  5. How many records have the Bee Gees sold?

    During their career, the Bee Gees scored 19 UK top 10 singles, including five number ones. Left to right: Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb pictured in 1975.
    During their career, the Bee Gees scored 19 UK top 10 singles, including five number ones. Left to right: Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb pictured in 1975. Picture: Getty

    During their career, the Bee Gees scored 19 UK top 10 singles, including five number ones.

    See more: Private studio footage of Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees recording 'Tragedy' is phenomenal

    Among their many hits include 'Stayin' Alive', 'Night Fever', 'How Deep is Your Love', 'Tragedy', 'More than a Woman', 'Massachusetts', 'You Win Again' and 'Jive Talkin''.

    The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide.

  6. What songs did the Bee Gees write for other artists?

    The Bee Gees wrote many songs for other artists. Pictured (L to R) Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb.
    The Bee Gees wrote many songs for other artists. Pictured (L to R) Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb. Picture: Getty

    Barry Gibb and his brothers wrote hits for many other artists.

    See more: Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson's powerful forgotten duet 'All In Your Name' is spectacular

    These include 'Grease' by Frankie Valli from the movie of the same name, 'Woman in Love' by Barbra Streisand, 'Emotion' by Samantha Sang, 'If I Can't Have You' by Yvonne Elliman, 'Heartbreaker' by Dionne Warwick and 'Islands in the Stream' by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

    See more: When Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John sang 'Islands in the Stream' and it was glorious

  7. Why did the Bee Gees sing in falsetto?

    The Bee Gees didn't actually use their signature falsetto sound until their 1975 album 'Main Course'.

    See more: The Bee Gees' flawless harmonies during a live MTV performance in 1993 is a lost masterpiece

    They liked the sound so much that they kept it up, and it became one of the main reasons their 'Saturday Night Fever' album was so huge later that decade.

  8. What is the Bee Gees' net worth?

    Barry Gibb is estimated to be worth around £71 million.

    See more: These are the top 20 richest singers in the world

  9. Who were the Bee Gees married to?

    Maurice Gibb was married to singer Lulu from 1969 to 1975. Pictured on their wedding day in St James's Church after their wedding in Buckinghamshire on February 18, 1969.
    Maurice Gibb was married to singer Lulu from 1969 to 1975. Pictured on their wedding day in St James's Church after their wedding in Buckinghamshire on February 18, 1969. Picture: Getty

    Maurice Gibb was married to singer Lulu from 1969 to 1975. He married his second wife, Yvonne Spenceley Gibb, later in 1975, and it lasted until his death.

    See more: Barry Gibb inviting Maurice's daughter on stage for duet of 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart' is so moving

    Robin Gibb married secretary Molly Hullis in 1968, and they divorced in 1980. He later married artist Dwina Murphy.

    Barry Gibb married former Miss Edinburgh, Linda Gray in 1970 and they are still together over fifty years later. Linda and Barry pictured ahead of Gibb being knighted at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018
    Barry Gibb married former Miss Edinburgh, Linda Gray in 1970 and they are still together over fifty years later. Linda and Barry pictured ahead of Gibb being knighted at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018. Picture: Getty

    Barry Gibb was married to Maureen Bates from 1966 to 1970. Later that year, he married former Miss Edinburgh, Linda Gray. They are still together over fifty years later.

    See more: When Barry Gibb made rare appearance with wife Linda to sing 'Silent Night' with their kids on TV special