Following the international success of his three older brothers in The Bee Gees, Andy Gibb (born 5 March 1958) appeared as a star in his own right during 1977.
Gibb was born in Manchester, England and his family emigrated to Australia when he was only months old. Then in 1967, when Andy was nine, the Gibb family returned to the UK so The Bee Gees could further their musical career.
Gibb returned to Australia in late 1974 on the advice of his brother Barry, to make a start on his solo career.
He formed a band called Andy Gibb and Zenta and signed a publishing deal with Col Joye’s publishing company, Joye Music.
Gibb scored support slots to overseas visitors The Sweet and The Bay City Rollers in 1975. In 1976, Gibb travelled to Florida to record his debut album Flowing Rivers, under the direction of Barry Gibb.
He toured America as support to The Bee Gees and scored three consecutive Number One US hits with I Just Want To Be Your Everything (August 1977), (Love Is) Thicker Than Water (1978) and Shadow Dancing (1978) – all written or co-written by brother Barry.
Andy scored his two biggest UK hits in 1978 with An Everlasting Love and (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away. By that stage, Andy Gibb had almost eclipsed his illustrious brothers in popularity.
Further minor hits followed, including Desire (Feb 1980), Time Is Time (Jan 1981), Me (Without You) (June 1981) and a duet with Olivia Newton-John, I Can’t Help It, although by the age of 22 his personal life was generating more interest than his music.
When the hits stopped coming he turned to co-hosting the US pop show Solid Gold but was fired at the end of the second season for missing too many tapings.
He then landed the lead role in the Broadway production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat but lost that also after skipping a dozen performances in a month. Gibb’s career began sliding toward rock bottom in 1984, fuelled by cocaine and alcohol abuse.
Besides sapping his creative energy, the drugs drained his financial resources: in 1983 Gibb earned over $500,000, in 1984 his income dropped to $91,000, and by 1986 it plummeted to $7,755.
He checked into the Betty Ford Clinic to kick drugs in 1985 but was unable to pull himself out of his financial mire, declaring himself bankrupt in 1987 with over $1 million in debts.
By 1988 things were improving. Gibb was living in Miami and working on a return to the music scene, and his bankruptcy problems were resolved with a final discharge granted on all his debts except for $15,000 owed to the IRS.
Tragedy struck on 10 March 1988 however, when Gibb died in Oxford, England of myocarditis, a rare inflammatory virus of the heart muscle. He was just 30 years old.