Bee Gee Maurice Gibb died in hospital today, his family said. The 53-year-old had been in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a heart attack during an operation to remove an intestinal blockage after he collapsed at his Florida home last week. His wife Yvonne and his two children had been with him at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami since the surgery on Thursday night. A statement released by his family said: "It is with great sadness and sorrow that we regretfully announce the passing of Maurice Gibb this morning. "His love and enthusiasm and energy for life remain an inspiration to all of us. We will all deeply miss him." Yesterday, his family and fans outside the hospital were hopeful that he was showing signs of recovery as he opened his eyes for a brief time and squeezed his daughter's hand. The family statement said that he died at 1am. As a member of the Bee Gees, Maurice Gibb had been one of the best-known faces in show business for the past four decades. He, his twin Robin and elder brother Barry, started their singing careers in the 1950s in the UK, earning their name from a previous incarnation as the Brothers Gibb. Following a spell in Australia, where they gained their first recording contract, they returned to the UK in 1967 to critical acclaim. Their distinctive, close-harmony singing became their trademark and survived musical fashion and family rifts. Their hits include the soundtrack to the film of the disco phenomenon, Saturday Night Fever, in 1977 and a sequel, Stayin' Alive, in 1983. Saturday Night Fever saw some of the group's most successful tracks such as Stayin' Alive, How Deep Is Your Love and Night Fever. One of their most successful collaborations was with Motown legend Diana Ross and Chain Reaction in January 1986. In 1987, after several years of writing and producing acts as diverse as Barbra Streisand and Dolly Parton, they were again at the top of the charts with You Win Again. Their last album together was in 2001, entitled This Is Where I Came In. They were each awarded CBEs in the 2002 New Year Honours List. Gibb, the bass guitarist and keyboard player in the group, had well-documented problems with alcohol. He met his first wife, the singer Lulu, in the BBC canteen. They married in 1969 but divorced four years later.