Entertainment International Life

Robert Stigwood, Music Mogul Behind BeeGees and Clapton, Dead at 81

Image: Producer Robert Stigwood (L), director Alan Parker and producer Andrew Vajna (R) celebrate the award for their musical “Evita,” winner of Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture at the 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards January 19 in Beverly Hills, California. REUTERS/Jeff Vinnick/Files

By Matt Siegel

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian-born music mogul Robert Stigwood, who managed the BeeGees at the height of their fame and guided musician Eric Clapton’s successful solo career while producing musicals for the stage, has died aged 81, friends said on Tuesday.

The announcement of his death was made on Facebook by Spencer Gibb, a son of BeeGees’ 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.

Stigwood, who was born in South Australia state, worked with a staggering number of groundbreaking acts, both on the Broadway stage and on the pop charts, producing counterculture stage hits “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”.

He 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 BeeGees to global stardom.

But he was most closely associated with his work with fellow Australians the BeeGees, 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.

(Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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