Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. Within the band, Wilson played bass and keyboards, also providing part-time lead vocals and, more often, backing vocals, harmonizing in falsetto with the group. Besides being the primary composer in The Beach Boys, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance Dance Dance", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations". These songs and their accompanying albums were internationally popular, making The Beach Boys one of the biggest acts of their time. In the mid-60's Wilson used his increasingly creative ambitions to compose and produce Pet Sounds, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. At this point his music was considered to rival that of "LennonÔMcCartney". The intended follow up to Pet Sounds, Smile, was cancelled for various reasons, including Wilson's deteriorating mental health. Wilson's contributions to The Beach Boys diminished as the years went by, and his erratic behavior led to tensions with the band. After years of treatment and recuperation, he began a solo career in 1988 with Brian Wilson, the same year that he and The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then he has toured for the first time in decades with a new band and released acclaimed albums such as a reworked version of Smile in 2004, for which Wilson won a Grammy Award for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Fire)" as Best Rock Instrumental, That Lucky Old Sun, and Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.
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