Brian Wilson

  • 09 June 2004

Date of birth

20th June, 1942







Brian Wilson (born June 20th 1942) is a Californian musician and former frontman of The Beach Boys.

Net worth: Brian Wilson has a net worth of $75 million according to Celebrity Net Worth (2015).

Musical career: Brian Wilson started with him, his brothers Carl and Dennis, Mike Love and Al Jardine, in 1961 thought they were named The Pendletones. They then released debut single 'Surfin'' and impressed Brian's father so much so that he helped them sign to Candix Records, who went on to change their name to the Beach Boys without them knowing.

Their first album, 'Surfin' Safari', was released by Capitol in 1962. Wilson fought to be head of production on the record.

Following records included 'Surfin' U.S.A.' and 'Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)'.

While still in the band, he tried to work with other people separately including Jan and Dean, to much upset from the label.

Meanwhile, The Beach Boys were touring a lot which was an emotionally and mental struggle for Wilson who wanted to concentrate on songwriting. He was briefly replaced by Glen Campbell and then Bruce Johnston.

1966 saw the band release the critically acclaimed 'Pet Sounds', which the rest of the band were initially averse to.

Wilson's next project for the Beach Boys, 'Smile', became a point of much conflict within the band, with it eventually getting cancelled in 1967.

The band began to struggle financially and Wilson's interest in the band gradually began to wane, often locking himself up at home particularly after the death of his father in 1973. He did, however, spend much time drinking with the Hollywood Vampires, Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop.

He eventually turned to a side project with Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher's Equinox Records named California Music. However, he was forced to quit the project by the Beach Boys' management, who insisted he turn his attention back to the group.

It was then he was referred to corrupt therapist Eugene Landy who, despite eventually damaging his mental state further, did manage to help Wilson regain some motivation and the band released '15 Big Ones' for their anniversary in 1976. He did, however, appear solo on 'Saturday Night Live' that year.

Eventually, Landy had him fired from the Beach Boys. He returned for Live Aid in 1985 and their subsequent self-titled album.

He then went solo, releasing his self-titled debut album on Sire Records in 1988 and during this time Landy's influence became increasingly clear in his lyrics and his behaviour, having been prescribed a large dosage of psychotropics.

His memoir, 'Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story', was released in 1991 though it is largely believed to have been written by Landy, who he soon severed ties with.

In 1995, Wilson released the 'I Just Wasn't Made for These Times' soundtrack and the Van Dyke Parks produced 'Orange Crate Art'. In 1997, he sang on Belinda Carlisle's 'California'.

The following year he released 'Imagination', but was forced to undergo vocal training for his damaged voice. During this time, he began to perform regularly for the first time in years.

2004 saw the release of 'Gettin' In Over My Head', featuring Elton John, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton.

That year he finally went back to 'Brian Wilson Presents Smile' and toured with the album worldwide. The Beach Boys version of the album, 'The Smile Sessions', came out in 2011.

Wilson returned to the Beach Boys for 2012's 'That's Why God Made the Radio' and in 2015 he released his eleventh solo venture 'No Pier Pressure'.

Personal life: Brian Wilson grew up in California with his mother Audree and father Murry. He was always musical as a child, but became partially deaf after an unknown accident. His father was physically abusive, but provided Wilson with toy accordion lessons and choir practise. In Hawthorne High school he played football, baseball and did running, and started playing piano after leaving school. He often recorded himself singing with friends and encouraged his brothers to join him as a band.

He studied psychology at El Camino College.

Wilson has struggled a lot over his career with mental health and addiction problems. He had a nervous breakdown while touring in 1964, and began taking cannabis soon after which he claimed improved his songwriting. In 1965, he began taking LSD, but the drug subsequently gave him lifelong auditory hallucinations.

Around 1968, he also began taking cocaine among many other narcotics, became suicidal, and was eventually admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Has been diagnosed as a manic-depressive with schizoaffective disorder. He sought care from a psychologist named Eugene Landy in the 80s, who caused Wilson's mental condition to deteriorate and managed to obtain control of every aspect of his life including his money.

Wilson's first marriage was to Marilyn Rovell in 1964, though that ended 15 years later. They had two daughters, Carnie and Wendy.

He married Melinda Ledbetter in 1995 and they have five adopted children: Daria, Delanie, Dylan, Dash and Dakota.

From Love & Mercy To Sid & Nancy: 7 Best Musical Biopics Of All Time

By Holly Mosley in Movies / TV / Theatre on 08 September 2018

Brian Wilson Paul Dano Ice Cube Sam Riley JOY DIVISION Sex Pistols Johnny Cash Chadwick Boseman Bob Dylan

Some of the most explorative biopics ever made.

Here at Contactmusic, we can't get enough of a good musical biopic whether it's 'The Runaways', 'The Doors' or 'Nowhere Boy' - the list is endless. There are only a handful, however, that make for a truly evocative and memorable experience of some of the most influential artists in the world.

Here are our seven favourite musical biopics of all time:

Paul Dano in 'Love & Mercy'

Continue reading: From Love & Mercy To Sid & Nancy: 7 Best Musical Biopics Of All Time

Noel Gallagher Hates 'overrated' Brian Wilson

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 30 November 2017

Noel Gallagher Brian Wilson Beach Boys Oasis

Former Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher has slammed Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson and insisted the 'Good Vibrations' hitmaker is ''overrated''.

Noel Gallagher has insisted Brian Wilson is ''overrated'', adding that he ''hates'' the Beach Boys legend.

The Britpop icon took aim at the 'Good Vibrations' hitmaker in a scathing attack when his own experimental arrangements on 'Who Built the Moon?' were compared to those of the classic songwriter.

When it was suggested he got carried away in a similar way to Wilson, he fired back to Paste: ''F***in' hell - I hate Brian Wilson! And you know what? If there's a more overrated person in the music business than me, it's that guy.

Continue reading: Noel Gallagher Hates 'overrated' Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson performing at Camp Bestival 2017 - Lulworth, United Kingdom - Sunday 30th July 2017

Brian Wilson and Al Jardine performing 'Pet Sounds 50th' at Liverpool Exhibition Centre - Liverpool, United Kingdom - Saturday 29th July 2017

Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds - Royal Albert Hall, 28 October 2016 Live Review

By Rick Sky in Music Reviews on 02 November 2016

Beach Boy Brian Wilson is one of greatest songwriters that the pop world has ever produced. Their 1966 album 'Pet Sounds' is widely recognised as being one of the greatest pop albums ever made. So when Brian Wilson walked rather unsteadily to his keyboard at London's Royal Albert Hall to perform the album in its entirety, it promised to be one of the most extraordinary moments in pop history because it was said that this would be the last time he would ever play the album live.

'Pet Sounds' has an amazing history. It was fifty years ago that it was released and Wilson - now an astonishing 75 - was so mesmerised by the progressive, revolutionary direction that The Beatles were embracing with their ground-breaking 'Rubber Soul' album, he was determined to produce an even better album than that - in fact he wanted to make the greatest album of all time.

Because of its incredibly advanced studio production, 'Pet Sounds' is a difficult album to play live. But Wilson and his accomplished 10 piece band, which included original Beach Boy stalwart Al Jardine, gave it a great shot and its key songs (including 'Wouldn't It Be Nice', 'Sloop John B', and 'God Only Knows') produced good vibrations amongst the Royal Albert Hall audience who had come to pay homage to the Californian legend.

Continue reading: Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds - Royal Albert Hall, 28 October 2016 Live Review

Primavera Sound Festival - Live Review

By Eoin Hanlon in Music Reviews on 22 June 2016

Thursday: As you walk the steady incline up to the festival site, chatter sparks from all directions from your fellow festival-goers as you reach the first gate to pass through. Swallowed by the atmosphere, you briefly snap out of your daze and remind yourself that you're surrounded by your friends equally happy to be reunited together.

Todd Terje is on in 20 minutes at the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System stage. Inhaling from my cigarette I look up and see a small stage to my left but more impressively, the Parc Del Forum at large. It's a beautiful structure which dominates the immediate skyline, towering over the site and its weekend habitants with the Mediterranean ocean stretching out behind it. You're at Primavera Sound - and trust me when I say that it's one of the best festivals you can experience on this side of the Atlantic.

We enter the Sound System Stage and I immediately notice that the speakers are ridiculously crisp. With Terje about to start, we queue up for some incredibly boozy mojitos and caipirinhas and head over to the tent which is already packed at 4pm. He is warmly welcomed onto the stage by a happy-go-lucky crowd as he punches into his much loved disco-revivalism, fiddles with classics and modern tracks alike as well as throwing in a couple of his much beloved hits.

Continue reading: Primavera Sound Festival - Live Review

Brian Wilson's Astounding Life Story Reaches Your Living Room With 'Love & Mercy'

By Holly Williams in Movies / TV / Theatre on 16 September 2015

Brian Wilson Beach Boys Paul Dano John Cusack Elizabeth Banks Paul Giamatti

Paul Dano and John Cusack star in this unique portrayal of one of music's most talented yet troubled individuals.

Those who missed the theatrical release of Brian Wilson biopic 'Love & Mercy' don't have to miss out any longer as the critically acclaimed flick is now on DVD, bringing a story of hope, love and creativity to the masses.

Image caption Own 'Love And Mercy' On DVD today

In June 2015, the biopic of one of music's greatest living legends, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, was released to a rapturous response. Depicting him in two major decades of his life, 'Love And Mercy' was directed by the Oscar nominated Bill Pohlad ('12 Years A Slave', 'Brokeback Mountain') and captured both the intense pain and the immense happiness that he struggled with throughout his successful career.

Continue reading: Brian Wilson's Astounding Life Story Reaches Your Living Room With 'Love & Mercy'

The Wrecking Crew Trailer

The 1960s was an incredible decade for music, with the likes of Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees and many, many others producing timeless hits that remain in the world's consciousness to this day. However, little do people know the reason for all these genius hits, for the catchy melodies and iconic hooks; behind every great artist of the day was a band unlike any other. The Wrecking Crew were probably the most sought after session musicians of the era, producing beats for all areas of the West Coast Sound, winning Grammys and become just as rich as the people they were supporting - and yet the general public remained widely oblivious to the music industry's secret weapon. They may have been ever-evolving, but these LA artists were still top choice for the biggest stars, namely Phil Spector who dubbed them 'The Phil Spector Wall of Sound Orchestra'.

Continue: The Wrecking Crew Trailer

'Love & Mercy' Takes Brian Wilson Back To Both Good And Bad Days

By Rich Cline in Movies / TV / Theatre on 05 June 2015

Brian Wilson Paul Dano John Cusack

Having given consent to both Paul Dano and John Cusack, Brian Wilson took the time to watch the biopic about himself, revealing that it was a lot kinder than some of the actual events.

After garnering acclaim on the festival circuit, the Beach Boys biopic 'Love & Mercy' finally hits American cinemas this weekend (it opens in the UK next month), offering audiences a powerful glimpse into the complex mind of musician Brian Wilson.

Image caption Brian Wilson opens up about the man behind 'No Pier Pressure'

It's his first collection of original solo material since 2008's 'That Lucky Old Sun' and, while that was hardly an era ago, it seems this new venture displays a man who's grown in himself both personally and professionally; and certainly doesn't feel the need to produce music for anyone but himself anymore.

Continue reading: Brian Wilson Discusses The Meaning Behind Latest Release 'No Pier Pressure'

Brian Wilson Brings California Spirit To UK Arenas In September 2015

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 24 March 2015

Brian Wilson

The Beach Boys rocker will hit the UK following his US tour dates.

Brian Wilson has announced a string of UK tour dates for September 2015, set to take place in eight different arenas around the country. The news comes ahead of the release of his eleventh solo album 'No Pier Pressure', which is out in April.

Image caption Brian Wilson announces UK tour dates

The Beach Boys legend is set to perform classics from both his solo career as well as his band days during the upcoming Autumn tour, and he will be joined on stage by former bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, as well as 70s chart toppers America and Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice as supporting acts.

Continue reading: Brian Wilson Brings California Spirit To UK Arenas In September 2015

The Wrecking Crew - Featurette And Clips

Through the 1960s, a collection of Los Angeles musicians worked together in order to support acts like The Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra. This group was called The Wrecking Crew, and they created some of the greatest and most influential songs, without receiving any of the credit for it. Beach Boys co-founder, Bryan Wilson, described how they were the most important part of that period in music. A documentary 12 years in the making, sheds some light on some of the unsung heroes of the musical industry in the 1960s.

Continue: The Wrecking Crew - Featurette And Clips

Brian Wilson and Beach Boys - Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys Sunday 29th July 2012 performing live on their 50th anniversary tour at Tradgardsforeningen

Brian Wilson - Brian Wilson and Melinda Wilson Friday 10th February 2012 2012 MusiCares Person Of the Year Gala Honoring Paul McCartney held at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Brian Wilson and Neil Young Friday 29th January 2010 2010 MusiCares Person Of The Year Tribute To Neil Young held at the Los Angeles Convention Center - Arrivals Los Angeles, California