Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, who - as his second wife - brought Beach Boys songwriter Brian Wilson out of his creative doldrums and helped him to escape from the clutches of psychologist Eugene Landy, has died at the age of 77. Her death was confirmed by Brian via his official social media accounts, with the post also including an additional statement from their five children.
"My heart is broken," wrote Brian. "Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. 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."
"It is with a heavy heart that we let everyone know that our mom, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson passed away peacefully this morning at home," her children wrote within Brian's Instagram post. "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. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us. How to take care of the person next to you with out 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. We love you mom. Give Grandma Rose and Pa our love."
Brian first met Melinda in 1986, when she sold him a Cadillac. After dating on and off for three years, they broke it off, but when they crossed paths again in 1992, the spark between them was still there, and they subsequently got married in 1995, after which they began to adopt their aforementioned five children. Their romance was dramatized in the 2014 film Love & Mercy, which - by using two timelines - also told the story of Brian's romance with his first wife, Marilyn.
“I remember meeting her at her dealership, Cadillac, and I said, ‘God, she's a pretty girl. That's a pretty girl,’” Brian said in a 2015 ABC News interview. “I just said to myself, ‘God, I think I'll see her again sometime.’”
“That's what attracted me to him,” Melinda said. “He was so nice.”