Robin, who sold more than 200 million records and notched up dozens of hits with brothers Maurice and Barry, had recently undergone intestinal surgery.
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His family announced his tragic death with "great sadness" yesterday prompting an outpouring of emotion from fans and fellow members of the music industry.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said the performer and songwriter was "talented beyond even his own understanding" and dubbed him as "one of the important figures in the history of British music".
Dr Andrew Thillainayagam, the star's private physician, spoke of his "extraordinary courage, iron will and deep reserves of physical strength" as he battled cancer.
Stars including rock star Bryan Adams and singer songwriter Mick Hucknall also paid emotional tributes.
A statement released by the musician's loved ones said: "The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery.
"The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time."
The Bee Gees' song catalogue, which includes Massachusetts, How Deep Is Your Love and Stayin' Alive, led to their induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Paul Gambaccini said: "Everyone should be aware that the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music.
"What must also be said is Robin had one of the best white soul voices ever."
Canadian rocker Bryan was among the stars paying tribute, saying: "Robin Gibb RIP. Very sad to hear about yet another great singer dying too young."
British singer songwriter Mick Hucknall wrote: "RIP Robin Gibb. A musical giant," while former X Factor judge Dannii Minogue said: "We start believin' now that we can be who we are - Grease is the word... RIP Robin Gibb."