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Michael Nesmith: Guitarist, singer and songwriter for The Monkees dies at 78

Michael Nesmith The Monkees
Posted at 12:27 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 13:49:13-05

Michael Nesmith, the guitarist and songwriter for the pop group The Monkees, has died, according to Rolling Stone and Deadline. He was 78.

"With Infinite Love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes," his family said in a statement to Rolling Stone. "We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us."

Nesmith and The Monkees rose to fame in the late 1960s when bubblegum rock was at its peak. According to Rolling Stone, Nesmith helped pen some of the band's biggest hits, like "Mary, Mary," "Circle Sky," "Listen to the Band" and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere."

The group made its mark on the small screen as well as vinyl with their own television show. But despite their commercial success, Nesmith and other band members felt they did not have enough creative control over their music.

In 1967, Nesmith helped lead the band to rebel against the record producers on their label. The band later struck out largely on their own and recorded several classic albums.

Deadline reports that in his post-Monkees career, Nesmith helped spark the video music revolution that would later spawn MTV through his collection of video shorts, Elephant Parts.

Nesmith's death comes just over two years after the death of Monkees' bassist Peter Tork. Tork died in 2019 at the age of 77.