In Memoriam:

Melinda Wilson

Melinda Ledbetter Wilson
October 3, 1946 – January 30, 2024

Melinda Ledbetter Wilson was Brian Wilson's second wife. A former model, she was working as a Cadillac saleswoman when she met Brian in the mid-1980s. She was instrumental in helping the Wilson family liberate Brian from his controversial therapist Eugene Landy. Melinda became Brian's manager in 1999 and encouraged Brian to have a solo career after the passing of his brother Carl and the subsequent Beach Boys diaspora. Melinda and Brian's early relationship was portrayed in 2014's Love & Mercy, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian, and Elizabeth Banks as Melinda.

Melinda and Brian were married on February 6, 1995, and adopted 5 children over the years.

Our condolences go out to Brian Wilson, their children, Melinda's family and friends, the Brian Wilson band, and the extended Beach Boys' family.


Brian Wilson: “My heart is broken. Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost. Melinda was more than my wife. She was my savior. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career. She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her. Love and Mercy, Brian ”
Jan. 30, 2024

Daria, Delanie, Dylan, Dash, and Dakota Wilson: “It is with a heavy heart that we let everyone know that our mom, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson passed away peacefully this morning at home. She was a force of nature and one of the strongest women you could come by. She was not only a model, our father's savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us. How to take care of the person next to you with out expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest of places, and how to live life as your truest self with honesty and pride. We love you mom. Give Grandma Rose and Pa our love.”
Jan. 30, 2024

Mike and Jacquelyne Love: “Dear Brian, our hearts are completely broken upon hearing about Melinda's untimely passing. I want you to know how deeply cherished you are and that you are surrounded by an ocean of love during this trying time, with Jacquelyne and me right by your side.

Brian, we have so many wonderful life memories that warm my heart. I remember being there at your wedding to Melinda, witnessing the growth of your family — from just the two of you to a home of five children, in addition to the radiant Carnie & Wendy.

And then, there were the ecstatic highs of our 50th Anniversary tour. I still recall how Melinda and Jacquelyne poured their hearts and souls into organizing over 70 shows, bringing untold happiness to our fans.

Through all life's highs and lows, including the loss of Dennis, Carl, and our parents — one thing remains constant: we are family, and I will always be there for you.

Facing this immense loss is undoubtedly one of our most challenging times, but as your cousin, I've witnessed firsthand how our music and togetherness have carried us through the toughest moments.

In your deepest grief, Brian, remember that you are wrapped in love, always and unconditionally. Jacquelyne and I want you to know we are here to support you in any way you need. We will always remember Melinda lovingly, for loving you. May Melinda rest in eternal peace and harmony.

Remember the love, Mike & Jacquelyne”
Jan. 31, 2024

Al and Mary Ann Jardine: “We are very saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of Brian’s loving wife Melinda. We know what an important role she played in Brian’s life, career and love of music. Our hearts go out to Brian, their children Daria, Delanie, Dylan, Dash and Dakota, everyone close to the family and all their friends. Brian, we will always remember Melinda and are here for you if you need us. With sympathy and love, Al & Mary Ann”
Jan. 31, 2024

Matt Jardine: “I’m so sorry to hear about Melinda’s passing. Thinking of you Brian Wilson and sending you and your family peace and love during this time. Rest easy Melinda.”
Jan. 31, 2024

Probyn Gregory: “I wouldn't have had a shot at being in the Brian Wilson Band if [Melinda] hadn't nudged Brian about having that band he liked, Wondermints come out and audition in St. Charles, IL right around this time of year in 1999. My heart goes out to the family and friends who are left behind.”
Jan. 30, 2024

Elizabeth Banks: “Melinda Ledbetter Wilson. What an honor to know her, to be invited into her life with Brian. She was a force. She gave me such great advice — on parenting, which house to buy, being an artist. We laughed. She had a good laugh. I was just thinking of her the other day when I passed the deli we used to visit. This is a reminder to reach out to people you enjoy. Tell them. Her family was her world and my heart and prayers are with them.”
Jan. 30, 2024

Cindy Lee Berryhill: “Melinda was such a lovely and caring woman. We had many great conversations. I’ll never forget her. My very sincere condolences [to] Brian.”
Jan. 31, 2024 memorial page for Melinda Wilson