Robert Stigwood, the talent manager who built The Bee Gees into stars during the ’60s — and the biggest name in music during the late ’70s — has died at age 81, according to TMZ.
The Adelaide, Australia native moved to England in 1955 and became an associate ofBrian Epstein. In 1966, he made his first big signing, becoming the manager for Cream. He inked The Bee Gees the following year, after the Gibb brothers moved back to England.
Much as his mentor Epstein did with The Beatles, Stigwood leveraged The Bee Gees into movie success — as their score powered Saturday Night Fever and Barry Gibb wrote the chart-busting theme for Grease. He also had one famous misstep, with The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton starring in an ill-advised adaptation of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Stigwood’s company, RSO, also produced such musicals as Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.