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Mike Love

Mike Love

Michael Edward Love (born March 15, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, producer and activist, who co-founded the Beach Boys. Characterized by his nasal tenor and rhythm and blues-influenced baritone singing, Love has been the distinctive lead singer on several of the band’s biggest hits as well as a lyricists for their entire career, contributing to each of their studio albums and serving as their frontman for live performances. He is the cousin of bandmates Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, (his mother was a Wilson), and has been regarded by some authors, commentators and fans 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."Love was one of Brian Wilson's collaborators during the Beach Boys' peak in the 1960s, and the only member of the band who co-authored all their #1 hit singles. Among the band's US Top 10 hits were the Wilson–Love songs "Fun, Fun, Fun" (1964), "California Girls" (1965), and "Good Vibrations" (1966). Love's lyrics primarily reflected the youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, which helped fashion pop culture's perception of the "California Dream". 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 began working on solo albums, releasing his first in 1981: Looking Back with Love. In 1988, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the other founding members of the Beach Boys. In the same year, the song "Kokomo", co-written by Love, reached number one in the US and was nominated for a Grammy. Many of Love's contributions to the group's hits were not officially recognized until the 1990s, when he successfully sued for writing credits on 35 songs. He remains uncredited for another 44 Beach Boys songs he alleged to have co-written. In 1998, following the death of Carl Wilson, Love was given an exclusive license to tour as the Beach Boys with Bruce Johnston while their surviving bandmates embarked on solo endeavors. They have since reunited once, for the band's 50th anniversary.
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