Maurice Gibb, 53, a member of the famed singing group the Bee Gees that popularized the driving disco sound with such signature hits as "Stayin' Alive" and "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," died Jan. 12 at a hospital in Miami Beach after a heart attack.

He was admitted to the hospital Jan. 9 after collapsing at his Miami Beach home with intense stomach pain and underwent surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Mr. Gibb joined two brothers to become one of the most bankable musical groups ever formed. With the highest voice in the group's famed three-part harmony, he usually sang backup and harmony vocals. He normally played bass or keyboard but also was at home on the guitar and with percussion instruments.

The Bee Gees, a name that evolved from the Brothers Gibb, became almost the personification of the disco sound with the 1977 soundtrack album for "Saturday Night Fever."

Until that movie and soundtrack, disco was thought by many to be something of an underground sound, popular in gay and black cultures. But the Bee Gees helped make it an immensely popular mainstream sound.

The "Saturday Night Fever" album went on to sell more than 40 million copies and has been called the best-selling soundtrack ever recorded. The film also propelled actor John Travolta to movie stardom.

In addition to "Stayin' Alive," the album's hits include "More Than a Woman," "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Night Fever."

Over the years, the Bee Gees, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, won seven Grammy Awards. They sold more than 110 million albums, with only four people or groups selling more pop albums.

The group will be remembered for the brothers' trademark voices that could be both soaring and falsetto and their talent for close harmony. The Gibbs will also be remembered for sunny smiles, bouffant haircuts and tight white 1970s outfits.

The brothers' last big success was the single "One," which hit the charts in 1989 and was featured on their album of the same name. Their last album, "This Is Where I Came In," was recorded in 2001.

Maurice Gibb was born in England and lived in Australia before returning to Britain in the 1960s.

With his twin, Robin, and their older brother, Barry, they formed the Bee Gees as youngsters in 1958 in Brisbane, Australia. The brothers -- encouraged by their bandleader father and mother, a former singer -- gained fame as a teen pop group.

Their first Australian hit, "The Battle of the Blue and Grey," was recored in 1963. Their single "Spicks and Specks" topped the charts -- but only in Australia. Their first recordings in England, "1941 New York Mining Disaster" and "Massachusetts," also were hits. By 1967, they were on the charts in Britain and the United States. Their first U.S. No. 1 recording came in 1970 with "Lonely Days," which was followed in 1971 with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart."

In the late 1960s, the group released such albums as "Horizontal," "Idea" and "Odessa."

The Bee Gees followed "Saturday Night Fever" with the 1978 album "Spirits Having Flown," which sold 20 million copies. The group released three studio albums and went on a world tour in the 1990s. The live album from the tour, "One Night Only," sold more than 1 million copies in the United States.

The brothers wrote and produced songs for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick in the 1980s. They also wrote the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit "Islands in the Stream." The Bee Gees own and operate a Miami music production concern, Middle Ear Studios.

The Associated Press said that in a 1978 interview with TG Magazine, Mr. Gibb lamented the public's perception of the Bee Gees.

"People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now," he said. "But they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like 'More Than a Woman.' And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too."

The AP quoted Chris Hutchins, a writer and former press agent for the Bee Gees, who said Mr. Gibb was "very much a tormented soul."

"He was not the star [of the Bee Gees], and he knew it, he felt it," Hutchins told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Mr. Gibb, who lived in a home on the Miami Beach waterfront, owned a local paint-ball store, Commander Mo's.

His first wife was the Scottish singer Lulu. They married in 1969 and divorced in 1973.

Survivors include his wife of more than 20 years, Yvonne, and their two children.

All three Bee Gees have lived in Florida since the late 1970s. A younger brother, Andy, who was never a member of the Bee Gees, recorded such popular songs as "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" and "Shadow Dancing" in the 1970s. He died at age 29 in 1988.

Maurice Gibb, left, and brothers Robin (his twin) and Barry made up the Bee Gees, which helped popularize disco with such hits as "Stayin' Alive."