Brian Wilson (81) mourns the loss of his wife Melinda Ledbetter (1946-2024). The Beach Boys songwriter and singer announced the death of his wife in an emotional social media post on Tuesday (January 30). She was 77 years old. “My heart is broken,” wrote the musician. "Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. Our five children and I are simply in tears. We are lost."
Ledbetter had worked as a model and car saleswoman before meeting Brian Wilson in the mid-1980s. The two married in 1995. The couple adopted five children together, and Ledbetter also acted as Wilson's manager from 1999.
In the social media post, Wilson explained that Melinda was more than his wife. “She was my savior,” he wrote. "She gave me the emotional security I needed to pursue a career. She encouraged me to make the music I was passionate about. She was my anchor. She was everything to us. Please pray for her."
Wilson's post also included a message from the couple's children: "It is with heavy hearts that we inform everyone that our mother, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson, passed away peacefully at home this morning," it said. "She was a force of nature and one of the strongest women you could find." Not only was she a role model, "our father's savior" and mother, she was a woman with a mission to "better everyone she touched."
They added: "We will miss her, but we appreciate everything she taught us. How to care for the person next to you without expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest places and how to live your life "leads with honesty and pride".