Monkees singer and songwriter Michael Nesmith died on Friday, December 10. Nesmith, who was a founding member of the 1960s pop group, 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,” said Nesmith’s family in a statement. “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.”
Later on Friday, the now-sole remaining member from the Monkees, Micky Dolenz, issued a statement about his fallen friend and collaborator.
He wrote on Twitter, “I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost a dear friend and partner. I’m so grateful that we could spend the last couple of months together doing what we loved best – singing, laughing, and doing shtick. I’ll miss it all so much. Especially the shtick. Rest in peace, Nez. All my love, Micky”
Dolenz was known as the singer and drummer for the 1960s band. The 76-year-old, Los Angeles-born actor and musician was cast in the band’s sitcom in 1965. He wasn’t a drummer at first and needed to take lessons, but eventually became comfortable with the instrument.
The band’s Davy Jones passed away in 2012 and Peter Tork passed away in 2019.
Others have also expressed their sadness about Nesmith’s passing, including The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, who wrote on Twitter, “I’m sorry to hear about Mike Nesmith. The Monkees had some great songs, those were fun days. Love & Mercy to Mike’s family and friends, Brian”
As American Songwriter wrote Friday of Nesmith’s death:
Born Dec. 30, 1942, Nesmith was a pop music phenom and a later country-rock pioneer, writing many of the Monkees songs, including “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” Circle Sky,” ”Mary, Mary,” and “Listen to the Band,” along with writing and directing the Monkees television special, Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees. Nesmith joined original Monkees members Micky Dolenz, and the late Davy Jones and Peter Tork, for a brief reunion and tour in 1997 to support the show.
Nesmith is survived by his three sons Christian, Jonathan, and Jason, and a daughter Jessica.
Main Photo: Michael Nesmith / Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images