Andy Gibb, singer
Andrew Roy Gibb was born March 5, 1958 in Manchester, England. Like his older brothers Maurice, Robin, and Barry, Andy was a natural singer, and often joined his brothers singing on stage when they performed vaudeville across England.
Later, Andy would watch as his brothers would become famous as The Bee Gees, releasing a number of successful albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But it was their soundtrack to the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever that catapulted them into superstardom. Andy saw all of this, and wanted to become a part of it. He had already started playing music in clubs around Australia, opening for Sweet and the Bay City Rollers.
Andy signed a deal with RSO Records in 1977 to release a disco album. With the help of his brothers, Andy wrote a number of songs, and Flowing Rivers was released that year. The first single off the album, "Love is Thicker Than Water" reached #1 on the US disco charts. Andy was a certifiable hit. The album's second single, "I Just Want To Be Your Everything", also topped the chart. The 19 year old Andy was a pop sensation.
The next year, Andy released Shadow Dancing, a record mostly notable for not being a disco record at all. Instead it relied on soul, R&B, and a stealthy urban sound to sell Andy's sensuous tenor. The title track topped the charts, and the album produced two more Top Ten hits.
Andy's third album, After Dark, proved to be a major flop. The Bee Gees rip-off "Desire" barely made it to the #10 spot on the Billboard charts, and duets with Olivia Newton-John and Victoria Principal (with whome he had a short but tabloid-friendly affair) both fizzled out early. At 22, Andy was already having to deal with rejection and the steady decline of his career. Needless to say, he was unprepared for the response from his fans, and began drinking heavily. He also indulged in cocaine, a habit that would prove fatal.
In 1984, Andy attempted a comeback, releasing an album of greatest hits along with a new single, "Time is Time." Neither sold well, and Andy sunk further into depression and drugs. All the while he made constant appearances on TV's "Solid Gold" as a host, appeared on Broadway as the title character in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", and continued to make a splash in the headlines with his carousing and drug use, checking into the Betty Ford Center in 1985 to deal with his problem. Finally it came to a head in 1987, when he declared bankruptcy, citing over $1 million in debt.
After reaching the bottom, it seemed that Andy had finally turned his life around. In January of 1988, he signed a deal with Island Records to record a fourth album. He began working in the studio, and completed a number of songs. Unfortunately, tragedy struck on March 10, 1988. Andy was admitted to a hospital in Oxford, complaining of stomach pains. He died several hours later of a viral infection in his heart. He was only 30 years old.