'She Was My Savior': Brian Wilson Pays Tribute To Wife & Manager Melinda Ledbetter Following Passing

31 January 2024 | 11:48 am | Mary Varvaris

"She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her."

Brian Wilson & Melinda Ledbetter

Brian Wilson & Melinda Ledbetter (Source: YouTube)

Beach Boys co-founder and solo artist Brian Wilson has paid tribute to his wife, Melinda Ledbetter, who sadly passed away at age 77.

Ledbetter was Wilson’s second wife and his longtime manager. The pair met when she sold him a car at a Cadillac dealership in 1986. When they first met, Wilson followed the contentious 24-hour therapy program with psychologist Eugene Landy.

In his emotional tribute, Wilson credited Ledbetter as his “saviour”. After dating for three years, Landy reportedly ordered Wilson to break up with Ledbetter. His family acknowledges her as their inspiration in firing Landy, although she wasn’t with Wilson when Landy was forced out via separation order in 1991.

In 1992, the pair reconnected (Ledbetter almost ran Wilson over with her car) before marrying in February 1995. Ledbetter was Wilson’s manager from 1999 and helped him find suitable medical treatment and encouraged him to release his album, Smile, and tour behind it.

“My heart is broken. Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning,” Wilson wrote on social media in tribute to his wife. “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”.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

In a joint statement, Ledbetter and Wilson’s children wrote with a “heavy heart” that their mother passed away peacefully 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 fathers savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched,” they wrote.

“We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us. How to take care of the person next to you without 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.”

Brian Wilson is one of the many names to feature on Glen Campbell Duets – Ghost On The Canvas Sessions, an album that pays tribute to the country music icon who passed away in 2017. He joins a stacked roster of stars, including Sting, Carole King, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Elton John and many more.

My heart is broken. Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. Our five children and I are just...

Posted by Brian Wilson on Tuesday, January 30, 2024