The world of music, movie, television and pop culture at large are collectively mourning the passing of Michael Nesmith of the Monkees. The singer-songwriter left behind a long and rich history involving not just the Monkees, but also myriad creative ventures.
"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 in a statement. "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."
Tributes to Nesmith have flooded social media, with fans and celebrities alike expressing their sorrow at the death of the Monkee in the wool hat. Micky Dolenz, who just recently completed the Monkees' farewell tour with Nesmith, shared his grief to Rolling Stone.
"The last show of the tour is pretty much a blur to me. I tried to stop thinking about it because I knew if I didn't, I’d never get through any of those songs," Dolenz admitted. "As it was, I still had my moments. I had a couple of moments where I had to turn around and get ahold of myself. I especially did not try and think about it because I probably wouldn't have made it through the show. Our last conversation probably took place that night, but I don't recall it specifically. We did hug that night on the stage. And the whole tour was very emotional for me. I knew it was pretty unlikely that, for whatever reason, we'd ever be doing this again. That was both our attitudes for us. We went out with flair."
“Everyone at Rhino is overwhelmed with sadness today to hear the news of Michael Nesmith’s passing. Nez was not only a GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, songwriter, actor, filmmaker, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, he was also a dear part of the Rhino family and a pillar of the label for more than four decades," said Mark Pinkus, the president of Rhino Records, in a press statement. "As a member of The Monkees, Michael won over the hearts of millions as a performer and songwriter, for both the band ('Mary, Mary' and 'Circle Sky') as well as other artists ('Different Drum' by Linda Ronstadt’s Stone Poneys). He then went on to become a pioneering figure in the rise of country rock with his First National Band and a true visionary in film and TV at the dawn of the music video era. When I became President at Rhino, Nez was the first artist to give me a call of congratulations and he remained a critical figure at the company throughout his final years. I had the honor of attending the final show of The Monkees' farewell tour last month at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, where Michael shared the stage with Micky Dolenz for the last time. On that night, Nez once again showed his unique ability to captivate fans with his immense talent, earnest words, and undeniable charm. We are grateful to have been a part of his incredible career and will continue to celebrate the legacy he leaves behind. We send our sincere condolences his family, friends, and fans around the world. Rest in Peace, Nez."