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The Monkees singer-songwriter Michael Nesmith dies at 78

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Singer, guitarist and songwriter Michael Nesmith, who was with the 1960s pop group The Monkees, has died at the age of 78. The quartet enjoyed hits like ‘Daydream Believer’ and ‘I’m A Believer’, and starred in their own popular TV sitcom.

Nesmith wrote numerous tracks including ‘Listen To The Band’, ‘Sunny Girlfriend’ and ‘Tapioca Tundra’.

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In a statement on Friday, his family said he “passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes”, the BBC reported.

Fellow Monkees band member Micky Dolenz said he was “heartbroken” at having “lost a dear friend and partner”.

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“I’m so grateful that we could spend the last couple of months together doing what we loved best – singing, laughing, and doing shtick,” he tweeted.

Nesmith and Dolenz had been on tour last month and the group’s manager Andrew Sandoval said: “We shared many travels and projects together over the course of 30 years, which culminated in a Monkees farewell tour that wrapped up only a few weeks ago.

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“That tour was a true blessing for so many. And in the end I know that Michael was at peace with his legacy which included songwriting, producing, acting, direction and so many innovative ideas and concepts.

“I am positive the brilliance he captured will resonate and offer the love and light towards which he always moved.”

Nesmith died from heart failure at his home in Carmel Valley, California, on Friday, a spokesman for record label Rhino told the BBC.

The Monkees were originally put together for the TV show and found fame with songs that were written for them.

Nesmith, Dolenz, Peter Tork and Brit Davy Jones went on to take full control of their music.

“We were kids with our own taste in music and were happier performing songs we liked – and/or wrote – than songs that were handed to us,” Nesmith told Rolling Stone in 2012.

The group broke up in 1969, after which Nesmith scored two US chart hits with his First National Band. He also wrote the song ‘Different Drum’, which became a major country hit for Linda Ronstadt.

After filming a music video for his single ‘Rio’ in 1977, Nesmith came up with the idea of a TV programme consisting entirely of promo clips.

“Audio records are played on radio, so a video record should be played on video – on television,” he wrote in his memoir. “There should be a broadcast component for the music video just like there is for records.”

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