Robin Gibb is gravely ill with pneumonia, reportedly in a coma, on the very week that his first classical work, "The Titanic Requiem," debuted in London.
At the 62-year-old singer-songwriter's hospital bedside Saturday, according to the Sun newspaper, were his wife, daughter and two sons, plus his brother Barry Gibb, who'd famously been with Robin and Maurice Gibb in the Grammy-winning Bee Gees.
“Our prayers are with Robin," a family friend told the Sun. "He has kept so positive and always believed he could beat this." Though the paper reported the coma and possibly a second tumor, publicist Doug Wright has given no details beyond saying Gibb was hospitalized in stable condition.
Gibb as recently as February was reveling in what he called a "spectacular" recovery after having a growth removed from his colon and undergoing chemotherapy. Though it has been reported that he was battling cancer, and that it involved his liver as well, Gibb has not confirmed that publicly.
He had intestinal surgery last month, and was hospitalized late last year for stomach and colon problems.
In 2010, Robin had surgery for a twisted small intestine, repairing the same congenital condition that had resulted in the death at age 53 of his twin brother Maurice.
"He sends all his love," Robin-John said ahead of the performance his father missed on Tuesday. "We are all praying for him and hoping he has a speedy recovery."
"The Titanic Requiem," which Robin Gibb composed with son Robin-John to comemmorate the 100th anniversary of the legendary ship's sinking on April 15, 1912, is a far cry from the disco-era hits that brought the Bee Gees to fame in the 1970s.
Hear a taste of the non-disco side of Robin Gibb, below. "It's a serious subject and it’s not a rock opera," he said in a recent interview. "There are no backbeats. This could have been written 300 years ago."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Robin Gibb onstage in May 2011 in Warsaw. Credit: Jacek Turczyk / EPA