Veteran musician, songwriter, actor, producer, and more Michael Nesmith of The Monkees has died from natural causes, his family said in a statement. He was 78.

"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. "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."

Before joining The Monkees, Nesmith had written the song "Different Drum" (made famous by Linda Ronstadt's group The Stone Poneys), and even before The Monkees began fully writing their own songs and playing their own instruments, they had recorded some Nesmith originals. He released his first solo album, The Wichita Train Whistle Sings, in 1968, while The Monkees were still active, and after leaving The Monkees, he formed the country rock band The First National Band and released three albums in 1970 and 1971 before breaking up. He reunited with The Monkees multiple times over the years (including on their last two albums, 2016's Good Times! and 2018's Christmas Party), and The First National Band briefly reunited in 2018 as The First National Band Redux for a tour and live album.

The only surviving Monkee left is Micky Dolenz, who shared the following statement about Michael:

I’m heartbroken.
I’ve lost a dear friend and partner.
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.
All my love,
Micky

Watch the video for the Nesmith-penned "Daily Nightly" and see more tributes to Michael below. Rest in peace.

Michael Nesmith
photo by Mary Lou Saxon (via)
loading...

More From Brooklyn Vegan