January 13, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Maurice Gibb, who sang with his brothers in the Bee Gees for more than 40 years, died Sunday at age 53 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. According to a statement by the hospital, he had been hospitalized Wednesday following a seizure at home and suffered cardiac arrest Thursday during surgery to remove an intestinal blockage.

The singer’s family is questioning the medical care he received. ”The fact that they had to operate on Maurice during the shock of cardiac arrest is very questionable, and we will pursue every factor, every element, every second of the timeline of the final hours of Maurice’s life,” brother Barry Gibb told the BBC. ”That will be our quest from now on.”

Maurice Gibb, who played bass and keyboards for the Bee Gees, had performed with twin brother Robin and older brother Barry since they were teens living in Brisbane, Australia, in 1958. The British-born Brothers Gibb (the initials were the source of the trio’s name) scored a series of pop-ballad hits in the late 1960s and early ’70s, but their biggest success came with the disco boom of the late 1970s. Their hits pushed the sales of the ”Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack to 40 million worldwide. Over the course of their career, the group sold 120 million albums.

While the band briefly returned to the spotlight with their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the Bee Gees had kept a lower profile since then. Their last album, ”This Is Where I Came In,” was released in 2001. Barry Gibb, however, told the BBC that the band had been working on a new release at the time of his brother’s death. ”The Bee Gees will not stop here,” he said. ”The Bee Gees will not disintegrate because we’ve lost Mo.”

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