Mike Love

Mike Love Biography

Singer, Songwriter (1941–)
Singer-songwriter Mike Love is best known for being one of the founding members of the Beach Boys.


Singer-songwriter Mike Love was born near Los Angeles, California, on March 15, 1941. In 1961, he and his cousins founded the Beach Boys, whose hits include "Good Vibrations," "Surfin' U.S.A." and "Kokomo." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The Beach Boys went on a worldwide 50th Reunion Tour in 2012, coinciding with the release of their album That's Why God Made the Radio.

Early Life

Singer and songwriter Mike Love was born Michael Edward Love in Baldwin Hills, near Los Angeles, California, on March 15, 1941. The eldest of six children, he often sang at family gatherings and parties with his cousins—laying the foundation for what would be a long and lucrative musical career for all of them.

The Beach Boys

In 1961, Love and his cousins, brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, along with their friend Al Jardine, formed the Beach Boys. The group soon became popular worldwide, with their trademark harmonies and Southern California beach- and surf-themed songs. They released their first single, "Surfin',"in late 1961, and within a few months the song made the Billboard's Hot 100 singles list, eventually peaking at No. 75 and remaining on the chart for six weeks. The Beach Boyssigned with Capitol Records in 1962, and in the same year released their first full album, Surfin' Safari, which reached No. 32 on Billboard's album chart.

Love became the group's lead singer and onstage spokesman, as well as a prolific lyricist, co-writing the Beach Boys hits "Fun, Fun, Fun," "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations,"among many others. Love's early lead-vocal credits include "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Be True to Your School." In the decades that followed, the Beach Boys continued to write and record hit records and toured constantly, despite the perpetually strained relationships between its members.

In 1988, The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and that same year, Love co-wrote the hit "Kokomo" with John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas. The song, which was featured in the soundtrack for the film Cocktail, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award—as "Good Vibrations," another song that Love co-wrote, had been 22 years earlier.

In 2012, the Beach Boys, including Love and original members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, as well as Bruce Johnston and David Marks (who had filled in for various members of the group in the past), went on a worldwide 50th Reunion Tour that coincided with the release of their album That's Why God Made the Radio.

Meditation and Personal Life

In 1967, Mike Love discovered transcendental meditation. The following year, he traveled with the Beatles, Mia Farrow and other celebrities to visit and learn from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. "TM has really enabled me to avoid some of the excesses that are all too easy to get seduced by," Love said.

Love has been married five times and has eight children. He owns homes in Southern California, Lake Tahoe and Hawaii, and is a supporter of environmental causes. He also founded the Love Foundation, an organization that supports and brings attention to environmental and educational issues nationally.

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