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The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. First formed in 1961, they gained popularity for their close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of surfing, girls and cars. Brian Wilson's growing creative ambitions later transformed them into a more artistically innovative group that earned critical praise and influenced many later musicians.
The group initially comprised singer-musician-composer Brian Wilson, his brothers, Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. This core quintet, along with early member David Marks and later bandmate Bruce Johnston, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The Beach Boys have often been called "America's Band" and have had thirty-six U.S. Top 40 hits (the most of any U.S. rock band), including four number one singles.
Many changes in both musical styles and personnel have occurred during their career, notably because of Brian Wilson's mental illness and drug abuse (leading to his eventual withdrawal from the group) and the deaths of Dennis and Carl Wilson in 1983 and 1998, respectively. Extensive legal battles between members of the group have also played their part. After Carl Wilson's death, founding member Al Jardine was ousted by Mike Love. Love and Bruce Johnston then leased the rights to the band's name and continue to tour as The Beach Boys.