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Mike Love

Mike Love

Michael Edward Love is an American singer and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys with his cousins Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson and their friend Al Jardine. Characterized by his nasal tenor and occasionally baritone singing, Love has been one of the band's vocalists and lyricists for their entire career, contributing to each of their studio albums and serving as their frontman for live performances. During the mid-1960s, he was one of Brian's main collaborators, co-writing hit records such as "Fun, Fun, Fun" (1964), "I Get Around" (1964), "Help Me, Rhonda" (1965), "California Girls" (1965), and "Good Vibrations" (1966). Drawing inspiration from Chuck Berry and Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Love's lyrics primarily reflected the youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, which helped fashion pop culture's perception of the "California Dream". Love also had a significant role in the Beach Boys' vocal arrangements – particularly the doo-wop element in their sound. Starting in 1968, Love was a student of Transcendental Meditation (TM) under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and became a TM teacher in 1971. The experience influenced his lyrics to take on themes of astrology, meditation, politics and ecology. In the late 1970s, Love fronted Celebration, a short-lived band that consisted of Beach Boys touring musicians, and began working on solo albums, releasing his first in 1981, Looking Back with Love. Many of Love's contributions to the group's hits were not officially recognized until the 1990s, when he reluctantly sued Brian for writing credits on 35 songs. Love remains uncredited for another 44 Beach Boys songs he alleged to have co-written. Following Carl's death in 1998, the band members and their corporation, Brother Records, Inc., granted Love an exclusive license to tour under the Beach Boys' name. Since then, Love has maintained a near-constant touring regimen with his edition of the group, and has released three more solo albums. He has not performed with Brian since their 2012 reunion tour. Love's honors include an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1988, as a member of the Beach Boys. He is often regarded as a malign figure in the group's history, a reputation he acknowledges: "For those who believe that Brian walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist." In 2016, Love authored the memoir Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy, which sought to address "many inaccuracies" that had been written about him over the years. Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as environmentalism, juvenile diabetes, and music education.
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