Billy Hinsche, singer-songwriter best known for his work in the 1960s with Dino Martin Jr. and Desi Arnaz Jr. before touring with The Beach Boys, has passed away at age 70.
According to friends and former associates, Hinsche died of cancer on Saturday. Actress Lucie Arnaz, a longtime friend and brother of Desi Arnaz Jr., was one of the first to announce the news in an Instagram post. He also wrote that Hinsche’s mother, Celia, passed away on Saturday at the age of 95.
It was not immediately known where Hinsche, a Henderson, Nevada resident, died.
“One of the best human beings, friends, storytellers and musicians on the entire planet went home to rest,” Arnaz said, noting that he had known Hinsche since childhood.
“We were like a brother and a sister,” said the 70-year-old.
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“We lost a great friend, family member and forever member of The Beach Boys band on Saturday. We will miss him so much,” said Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love. he said via Twitter.
“All of us who had the pleasure of meeting him will miss his jovial nature and immense talent and sense of humor,” said the 80-year-old. “RIP Friend. We love you always.”
“Love and Mercy Billy Hinsche”, tweeted Brian Wilson.
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According to his website, Hinsche composed music for his 1960s band known as Dino, Desi & Billy and had many other contributions, including co-writing “Away” with Dennis Wilson. Hinsche collaborated with Warren Zevon, Joan Jett, America, and many other artists during his long career.
Born on June 29, 1951, in Manila, Philippines, Hinsche moved with his family to Beverly Hills, California, where he met Dean Martin Jr. and Desi Arnaz Jr. in high school. His band opened for The Beach Boys, Paul Revere & The Raiders and others before Hinsche began recording and performing with The Beach Boys in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
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Hinsche, who had a bachelor of fine arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, produced several documentaries about his time with The Beach Boys. He also released his own music.
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Hinsche’s sister, Annie Wilson, was married to the late Carl Wilson, who died in 1998 of cancer. Hinsche served on the board of the Carl Wilson Foundation, which funds cancer research and helps those with the disease.
Associated Press contributed to this report.