Brian Wilson

Singer-Songwriter Brian Wilson
Kathy Hutchins /

Profession: Singer-Songwriter

United States of America

Biography: Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential songwriters and record producers in music history, Wilson co-founded the 1960s rock band The Beach Boys, with his brothers Dennis and Carl. their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. In this group he co-wrote two dozen Top 40 hits for them.

Wilson's mastery of recording techniques and unorthodox approaches to songwriting helped The Beach Boys define the 1960s California sound, distinguished by their vocal harmonies and the influence of jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B.

He co-wrote and produced several of their albums, concentrating on studio work while the rest of the band continued to tour. Pet Sounds (1966), one of the most influential records ever made, is considered his masterpiece. After suffering a nervous breakdown, Wilson's contributions to The Beach Boys diminished and the follow-up to Pet Sounds, named Smile, was cancelled. Years later, in 2004, he re-constructed the shelved album, released as Briand Wilson Presents Smile.

Often called a "genius", Wilson's contribution to popular music helped lead to the supplanting of New York by California as the center of music production and radically altered the way music was produced, particularly by allowing artists to enter the studio as their own co-producers or producers.

Wilson has been married twice. His marriage to school sweetheart Marilyn Roselle, from 1964 to 1979, with whom he had in two daughters - Carnie and Wendy. They formed 2/3 of the 1990s pop group Wilson Phillips. Since 1995, he has been married Melinda Ledbetter, a model and car salesperson. She became his business manager; they have 5 adopted children.

Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been the subject of three documentaries, and his life was dramatized in the 2014 biopic Love & Mercy.

Born: June 20, 1942
Birthplace: Ingelwood, California, USA
Age: 80 years old

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Gemini

Married Life

  • 1995-02-06 "The Beach Boys" leader and chief songwriter Brian Wilson (52) weds former model and car saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter (47) at Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County, California

Historical Events

  • 1976-07-03 Brian Wilson performs with the Beach Boys after his 12 year stage absence, at Anaheim Stadium in California
  • 2005-06-24 Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England opens: The White Stripes, and Coldplay headline; other performers include The Kaiser Chiefs, Taj Mahal, Brian Wilson, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Primal Scream
  • 2005-07-02 Live 8 concert at the Victory Column in Tiergarten Park, Berlin, Germany; performers include Green Day; a-ha; Brian Wilson, Roxy Music, Audioslave, and Herbert Grönemeyer
  • 2008-05-08 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Chris Botti, Feist, Roberto Alagna, and Natalie Clein