Maurice Ernest Gibb, CBE (/ˈmɔrɪs/ (22 December 1949 – 12 January 2003) was a musician, singer and songwriter who achieved international fame as the bassist, guitarist and keyboardist of the Bee Gees. Although his brothers Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb were the band's primary lead vocalists, most of the groups albums included at least one or two Maurice Gibb compositions, including "Lay It on Me", "Country Woman" and "On Time". The Bee Gees were one of the most successful rock-pop groups ever.Born on the Isle of Man, he started his music career in 1955 in Manchester, England, joining the skiffle-rock and roll group the Rattlesnakes that later evolved into the Bee Gees in 1958 when they moved to Australia. They returned to England, where they achieved worldwide fame. In 2002, the Bee Gees were appointed as CBEs for their "contribution to music", and following his death in 2003, Maurice's son collected his award at Buckingham Palace in 2004.Gibb's earliest musical influences included The Everly Brothers, Cliff Richard and Paul Anka; The Mills Brothers and the Beatles were significant later influences. By 1964 he began his career as an instrumentalist, playing guitar on "Claustrophobia". After the band's break-up in 1969, Gibb released his first solo single "Railroad" but his first solo album The Loner has never been released.