NEWS / Robert Stigwood, who managed the Bee Gees at the height of their fame, produced and released Cream’s self-titled debut, and guided Eric Clapton’s successful solo career while producing musicals for the stage and screen, has died aged 81.
The announcement of the Australian-born music mogul’s death was made on Facebook by Spencer Gibb, son of Bee Gees band member Robin Gibb. Further details about his death were not immediately available.
“I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather, and the longtime manager of my family, Robert Stigwood, has passed away,” Gibb wrote, describing him as a “creative genius with a very quick and dry wit”.
Stigwood, who was born in South Australia, worked with a staggering number of groundbreaking acts, both on the Broadway stage and on the pop charts. He also produced counterculture stage hits Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as Evita, Sweeney Todd and Pippin, and produced or co-produced film musicals Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar and the 1978 jukebox musical of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Stigwood also produced the groundbreaking film of the Who’s rock opera Tommy, and Saturday Night Fever, which introduced disco music and a young John Travolta to audiences around the world, while propelling the Bee Gees to global stardom.
But he was most closely associated with his work with fellow Australians the Bee Gees, whom he guided at the height of their fame in the 1970s.
Tributes for the towering industry figure poured in on Tuesday.
Broadway musical producer Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom Stigwood worked on multiple projects, praised him on Twitter.
“Farewell beloved Robert, the great showman who taught me so much. With love, ALW,” he wrote. (Bron: The Guardian.com)