Australian music mogul and musical impresario Robert Stigwood, who managed the Bee Gees and produced musicals including Grease and Saturday Night Fever, has died aged 81.
Stigwood has been remembered as a great showman and creative genius.
He who managed the Bee Gees at the height of their fame and guided musician Eric Clapton's successful solo career while producing musicals for the stage, has died aged 81, friends said on Tuesday.
The announcement of his death was made on Facebook by Spencer Gibb, a son of Bee Gees' band member Robin Gibb.
Further details about his death were not immediately available.
"I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather, and the longtime manager of my family, Robert Stigwood, has passed away," Gibb wrote.
Gibb described Stigwood as a "creative genius with a very quick and dry wit".
"I would like to thank Robert for his kindness to me over the years as well as his mentorship to my family. `Stiggy' you will be missed," Gibb wrote.
Stigwood, who was born in the South Australia town of Port Pirie, worked with a staggering number of groundbreaking acts, both on the Broadway stage and on the pop charts, producing counterculture stage hits Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.
He produced the groundbreaking film of The Who's rock opera Tommy and Saturday Night Fever, which introduced disco music and a young John Travolta to audiences around the world, while propelling the Bee Gees to global stardom.
But he was most closely associated with his work with fellow Australians the Bee Gees, whom he guided at the height of their fame in the 1970s.
Tributes for the towering industry figure poured in on Tuesday.
Local entertainment guru Glenn Wheatley, who followed a similar path to the ate Stigwood in artist management, described him as a "massive contributor to the music industry".
"He had a lot to do with theatre too – Evita, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar - and with film. He was a classic entrepreneur and it's all the more amazing that he came from Adelaide, from Sleepy Hollow," he told Fairfax Media.
"I remember being in his huge offices in the middle of London and it was all purple velvet walls, and he was sitting behind an enormous desk, and saying 'Refresh my memory, dear boy', meaning my early Masters Apprentices days that he was aware of. He was a character, and he will be missed. I have nothing but fond memories of those few meetings: I remember frocking up because I wanted to impress him, as you did in those days, in my matching Carnaby Street shirt and tie."
Wheatley said he had flair and imagination and was "the classic impresario".
Broadway musical producer Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom Stigwood worked on multiple projects, praised him on Twitter.
"Farewell beloved Robert, the great showman who taught me so much. With love, ALW," he wrote.
Webber later posted a photograph of himself with Stigwood and US producer Hal Prince at Evita's opening night in Adelaide in 1980.
AAP/Reuters With Philippa Hawker