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Michael Nesmith of 'The Monkees' passes away at 78

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Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage for The Recording Academy

Singer-songwriter Michael Nesmith has passed away at the age of 78.

Nesmith was the lead guitarist for the popular 1960s pop-rock group "The Monkees," a made-for-TV band that was created in an attempt to capitalize on the financial success of "The Beatles" in America.

The television show of the same name was a situational comedy that ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968. The band was styled similarly to "The Beatles" with "mop-top" haircuts, and when they were chasing girls, they traveled around Los Angeles in a Pontiac GTO they called "The Monkeemobile" and pursued musical success.

"I’m heartbroken, I’ve lost a dear friend and partner," bandmate Micky Dolenz said in a statement to Fox News.

Nesmith was one of the band's primary songwriters and wrote many hit songs for "The Monkees" during the height of their popularity. Each episode of "The Monkees" resulted in at least two or three new songs being released for the band, which all became Billboard top 10 hits for the band during the TV show's two-year run. Of the band's records during the show's run, "I’m a Believer," ″Daydream Believer," and "Last Train to Clarksville" would become No. 1 hits.

After the TV show ended in 1968, the band went on the road in a lengthy concert tour with Jimi Hendrix, who was occasionally their opening act.

Nesmith's last show was less than a month ago when he and fellow band member Micky Dolenz ended a farewell tour at L.A.’s Greek Theatre on Nov. 14. The pair was booked to play a cruise in 2022 that would serve as the band's final gig, according to Variety.

Dolenz is the only surviving member of "The Monkees."

Nesmith's manager of over 30 years, Andrew Sandoval, was "deeply saddened" upon hearing of Nesmith's passing.

"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," Sandoval said in a statement according to Variety.

Nesmith died of natural causes, according to Rolling Stone.

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