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Michael Nesmith dies: Singer-songwriter Monkees dies aged 78

The musician died of natural causes (Image: Larry Marano / Getty Images)

Michael Nesmith, former singer and guitarist of the pop rock band Monkees, has died at the age of 78.

In a statement sent to Rolling Stone, his family announced that he died of ‘natural causes’ at home.

They said: “With Infinite Love, we announce that Michael Nesmith passed away this morning at his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes.”

‘We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light you all have shown him and us.’

From 1966 to 1968, Nesmith starred in the television series The Monkees, which aired on NBC for two seasons, a comedy that followed the four members of the band as they tried to make a name for themselves.

The Monkees ultimately remained active as a band throughout the decades, releasing reunion albums and going on tour for many years.

Nesmith, pictured right, with band members Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork on their TV show of the same name in August 1967 (Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Monkees are considered America’s answer to The Beatles, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989.

Nesmith, born 1942 in Houston, Texas, played the guitar player in a beanie on the 1965 television show The Monkees TV, a character known as Mike.

Nesmith wears his signature beanie with his bandmates (Image: NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

He has become synonymous with his beanie over the years, having worn it to his auditions.

The musician has had a varied career, founding a multimedia company that provided prototypes for MTV, in addition to working as a producer on several films.

In 1981, he won his first Grammy Award for Video of the Year for his hour-long television show Elephant Parts.

Nesmith was married three times, sharing three children with his first wife, Phyllis Ann Barbour, from whom he divorced in 1972.

He married his second wife, Kathryn Bild, four years after their divorce, while he was married to his third wife, Victoria Kennedy, from 2000 to 2011.

The guitarist also shares a son with Nurit Wilde, whom he met while working on The Monkees.

In 2018, Nesmith revealed to Rolling Stone that he had undergone quadruple heart surgery, after stepping back a few tours with singer Monkees and drummer Micky Dolenz that year.

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Huynh Nguyen

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