Bee Gees Barry and Robin Gibb received an honorary Grammy Award Sunday night without their brother, Maurice, who died last month.
The third member of pioneering disco trio died Jan. 12 of a heart attack before undergoing emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage.
“I think this is just a little bit harder than Robin and I imagined it could ever be,” said Barry Gibb, who received a standing ovation with his brother when they walked on stage. “It’s getting harder.”
He went on to pay tribute to his late brother’s wife, son and daughter.
“The measure of a man is his family – we think, anyway – and so we want you to meet Maurice’s family,” Barry Gibb said before pointing out his brother’s family in the audience, which drew more applause.
“I think your dad would have loved this,” he added. “We know he’s watching – he always watched the Grammys – and tonight he’s watching.”
“We love Maurice very much,” said his 53-year-old twin, Robin Gibb. “He’s in our hearts forever and we’re very proud of him tonight.”
Then they invited Maurice Gibb’s son, Adam, on stage to accept the award.
“I know how much my dad loved doing what he did, and he would have loved being here right now,” Adam Gibb said. “I know he’d want to thank one person and that’s my mom, because she was his rock.” The camera showed Gibb’s widow, Yvonne, wiping away tears in the audience.
Before the award was presented, the boy band ‘N Sync sang an a cappella medley of Bee Gees hits, including “How Deep Is Your Love,” “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” and “Stayin’ Alive.”
Soon after Gibb’s death, his brothers said the Bee Gees name died with him.