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Michael Nesmith, guitarist of the '60s pop group The Monkees, has died at the age of 78.
The famed singer-songwriter, who composed some of the band's catalogue, including tracks such as "Papa Gene's Blues," "You Told Me" and "You Just May Be the One," died of natural causes Friday morning, according to statement released by his family.
"With infinite love, we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes," Nesmith's family said. "We ask that you respect our privacy at this time, and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us."
Monkees member Micky Dolenz is now the sole surviving member of the group.
"I’m heartbroken, Dolenz said in a statement following Nesmith's death. "I’ve lost a dear friend and partner. I’m so grateful that we could spend the last couple of months together doing what we loved best – singing, laughing and doing shtick.
Dolenz added: "I’ll miss it all so much, especially the shtick."
Nesmith found commercial prominence as a musician when he auditioned for the NBC sitcom, "The Monkees," which centered on the antics of a rock 'n roll foursome. Nesmith was running “hoot nights” at the popular West Hollywood nightclub The Troubadour when he saw a trade publication ad seeking “four insane boys” to play rock musicians in a band modeled after the Beatles.
“The Monkees” television debut turned him and fellow band members Dolenz, Peter Tork and David Jones into overnight rock stars. The show, which premiered in 1966, rocketed the group to fame, scoring No. 1 hits and chart-topping albums.