Melinda Wilson, wife of Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson, dead at 77

Melinda and Brian Wilson

Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, the wife of Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson, died Tuesday. She was 77.

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Melinda Wilson was credited with rescuing the singer from psychological ruin, The New York Times reported. She died at her home in Beverly Hills, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Brian Wilson confirmed his wife’s death in an Instagram post, saying that they had been married for 28 years and had five children together.

“My heart is broken,” Wilson wrote. “Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost. Melinda was more than my wife. She was my savior.

“She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career. She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her.”

A spokesperson for Brian Wilson, Jean Sievers, said the cause of death was unknown, the Los Angeles Times reported. An unsigned statement from her children said that she died peacefully at home.

“She was a force of nature and one of the strongest women you could come by,” the children’s statement said. “She was not only a model, our father’s savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us. How to take care of the person next to you without expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest of places, and how to live life as your truest self with honesty and pride.”

Melinda Wilson had been a model and worked as a producer on several films related to her husband’s music, The New York Times reported. Projects included “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” in 2021, and “Pet Sounds Live at Royce Hall” in 2006.

Melinda Kay Ledbetter was born Oct. 3, 1946, in Pueblo, Colorado, the Los Angeles Times reported. She was raised in Whittier, California and attended Whittier College.

She dated Wilson sporadically between 1986 and 1989, ending the singer’s “long span of loneliness” since his divorce from Marilyn Wilson during the 1970s.

The couple were married at the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Feb. 6, 1995, according to Timothy White’s 1994 book, “The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience.”

Melinda Wilson was depicted by actress Elizabeth Banks in the 2015 biopic, “Love & Mercy,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Melinda Wilson is survived by her husband; her children Daria, Delanie, Dylan, Dash and Dakota Wilson; and nephew Patrick Ledbetter, according to Sievers.

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