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Michael Nesmith, Monkees singer and guitarist, dead at 78

The Monkees' star on Hollywood Blvd.
The Monkees' star on Hollywood Blvd. | Shutterstock

December 11, 2021 12:44am

Updated: December 12, 2021 4:14pm

Monkees singer and guitarist Michael Nesmith died of heart failure at his home in Carmel Valley, Calif. on Friday. He was 78 years old. 

“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. “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.”

Micky Dolenz, now the last surviving member of the Monkees, confirmed the news.

"I've lost a dear friend and partner," Dolenz told CNN. "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."

The death comes a few weeks after the Monkees wrapped up a farewell tour. Dolenz and the late Nesmith’s last performance was in Los Angeles on Nov. 14.

Robert Michael Nesmith was born in Houston, Texas, in 1942. He lived with his single mother, who invented a typewriter correction fluid called Liquid Paper from her experience working two jobs, as a secretary and painter. 

He got his big break when he landed a role on “The Monkees” TV show in 1965 after a brief stint in the Air Force. The series ran from 1966 to 1968 and helped launch a solo music career, where he was considered a pioneer of country rock.

Nesmith was married and divorced three times. He is survived by four children, Christian, Jason, Jessica and Jonathan.