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Bees Gees star Gibb receives knighthood

By AAP Newswire

Australian-raised singer-songwriter and Bee Gees founder, Barry Gibb has been knighted for his services to music and charity.

The 71-year old, who began the hugely successful pop group with brothers Maurice and Robin in 1958, was knighted by Prince Charles as part of Queen Elizabeth's New Year's Honours list.

"It's the greatest honour you can receive obviously and I'm just blown away by the idea of it," the musician said on Tuesday at the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The palace tweeted a photograph of Gibb kneeling on a cushion as he was formally knighted by Charles laying a sword across his shoulder.

Gibb, the last remaining member of the band, was the oldest of the three brothers who enjoyed a succession of smash hits in the 1970s and 80s.

He said he hoped his brothers were proud of him.

"If I had spent my whole life writing songs on my own, it would have meant something else altogether.

"I hope and pray that they are aware of what has happened and that they are proud. I believe in that."

He said there is "no question" he would have loved to have shared this special day with his brothers.

Maurice Gibb died from complications following an operation to correct an intestinal blockage in 2003.

Robin Gibb, who had a lengthy battle with cancer, died in 2012.

The Bee Gees wrote some of the biggest hits of the disco era, including the soundtrack to the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, which included the songs Stayin' Alive, Night Fever, and How Deep Is Your Love. Other hits were Words, Tragedy and You Win Again. They also wrote hits for other singers.

When his knighthood was announced in December, Gibb said he was "deeply honoured, humbled and very proud," paying tribute to his late brothers, twins Maurice and Robin.

"This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten, Gibb said. "I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine.

"The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life," he said.

The Gibbs were born on the Isle of Man, off northwestern England, and later Manchester before the family emigrated to Australia.

The brothers grew up in Redcliffe and Cribb Island in Queensland in the 50s and 60s. Their Australian success with Spicks and Specks saw them return to the UK in 1967 where their global careers took off after they hooked up with producer Robert Stigwood.