Brian Wilson

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, producer

BIO: Born June 20, 1942, in Hawthorne, Calif. Formed the Pendletones with younger brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and high school friend Al Jardine. Renamed the Beach Boys, and singing about surfing, girls and cars, the band became a dominant force on the Top 40 chart in the early 1960s. Married twice. Five children (three adopted).

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Enshrined in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Most important songs include "Good Vibrations," "God Only Knows," "Surfin' USA ," "California Girls," "Help Me, Rhonda," "I Get Around" and "Don't Worry Baby," all with the Beach Boys. Bruce Johnston wrote "I Write the Songs" (popularized by Barry Manilow) as a homage to Wilson.

CAREER LOWLIGHTS: Battled drug addiction, depression, paranoia beginning in the mid-1960s; later diagnosed with mental illness. Sued on multiple occasions by cousin and former band mate Love, who now controls the rights to the Beach Boys name.

ARTISTIC INFLUENCES: The Four Freshmen, Chuck Berry, Phil Spector, Burt Bacharach

QUOTE: "I've been called a genius, but I don't know."

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