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Michael Nesmith, Monkees singer and songwriter, dies at 78 

The Monkees singer and guitarist Mike Nesmith dies ‘from natural causes’ at home in LA aged 78

  • Michael Nesmith, a singer and guitarist for the 1960s group The Monkees, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 78
  • His family confirmed his passing in a statement to TMZ
  • Nesmith once fought for control of The Monkees, a made-for-television rock ‘n’ roll band, wanting it to be a real group
  • The group released several hits in the 1960s, including Daydream Believer and Valerie, eventually rivaling the success of the Beatles
  • After the group disbanded, Nesmith helped launch MTV 


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Michael Nesmith, a singer and guitarist for the 1960s group The Monkees, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 78.

His family announced his passing in a statement to TMZ, reading: ‘With infinite love, we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully of natural causes.’

Nesmith is now the third of the four members of the band, whose hits include Daydream Believer and Valerie, to have died. 

He and sole survivor Micky Dolenz performed their final show together just last month at the Greek Theater in Illinois.

Mike Nesmith, of The Monkees, died on Friday at the age of 78

He and sole surviving member Micky Dolenz, left, performed together just last month

He and sole surviving member Micky Dolenz, left, performed together just last month

The Monkees were a band created for a television show about a rock ‘n’ roll group.

During the band’s time together, TMZ reports, Nesmith fought for artistic control, pushing for the band to be more than just a made-for-television group, as they released hit after hit, even eventually rivaling the success of the Beatles.

At first on the show, TMZ reports, the group members did not actually play their instruments, which upset Nesmith to the point where he punched a hole in a wall.

Speaking about the incident years later, Nesmith said: ‘We were kids with our own taste in music and were happier performing songs we liked and/or wrote, than songs that were handed to us.’

After the group disbanded, Nesmith helped launch MTV by pitching a show called PopClips, which eventually evolved into the 24-hour video channel. 

Nesmith, pictured in the 1960s, was a singer and guitarist for the Monkees

Nesmith, pictured in the 1960s, was a singer and guitarist for the Monkees

The quartet was created for a television show about a rock 'n' roll group. The group, comprising Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz (top), and David Jones and Mike Nesmith (bottom), kept releasing hit after hit and rivaled the success of the Beatles

The quartet was created for a television show about a rock ‘n’ roll group. The group, comprising Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz (top), and David Jones and Mike Nesmith (bottom), kept releasing hit after hit and rivaled the success of the Beatles 

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