In a statement, Gibb’s family said they were announcing his death with “great sadness”.
Gibb’s musical career began when he formed the Bee Gees with his brothers Barry and Maurice in 1958.
The group is among the biggest-selling groups of all time with hits spanning six decades including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Massachusetts and Night Fever.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini described Gibb as “one of the major figures in the history of British music”.
“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,” BBC quoted him as saying.
“Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, the list goes on and on.
“What must also be said is Robin had one of the best white soul voices ever. He was singing lead on his first number one when he was 17, that was Massachusetts.”
“The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery,” a statement from Gibb’s family said.
“The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”