Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Who Are Brian Wilson’s 7 Children? All About the Beach Boy’s Big Family

Who Are Brian Wilson’s 7 Children? All About the Beach Boy’s Big Family

Brian Wilson does not hide the fact that he’s quite proud of his family, even with seven kids to keep up with all the time. But he’s seen two of his kids go on and find success in the music scene as a part of Wilson Phillips. And yes, there are five other children, all adopted, who stay out of the limelight for the most part.

Wilson had his first two children with his first wife, Marilyn Wilson. They divorced in 1979. He dated Melinda Ledbetter starting in 1986, then wed her in 1995. For the couple, their adopted children’s names are Dakota Rose, Daria Rose, Delanie Rose, Dylan, and Dash.

Sadness, though, overcame the family when Melinda died in January 2024 at 77 years old. The grief was palpable among family members. “Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost,” Brian Wilson wrote on Instagram, People reports. “Melinda was more than my wife. She was my savior. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career. (And) She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us.”

With that backdrop, here are some close-ups of Wilson’s kids.

Carnie and Wendy Wilson

So, Carnie was born in 1968 and Wendy was born in 1969. They had to deal with a lot of moving around and craziness around their father. But they are saying that their mother did a good job of keeping things sane.

“She was really great at keeping it steady and being real about things,” Carnie said. “Not everything is normal and what is normal? Building our self-esteem as people and showing us love, and now we instill that in our kids.”

What was keeping Carnie and Wendy away from their father? His drug and alcohol use got totally out of hand. It became too much to be around, so they stayed away. In 1992, they wrote Flesh & Blood, a song that they hoped would bring them together.

That reunion finally did take place in 1994. Carnie started working on some music and hoped her father might add some melodies to it. She also told People that she hoped to include Wendy in the future. This all happened in 1994.

Wilson Phillips gets out there to perform once per month these days. Wendy is focusing on raising her family, while Carnie loves to spend time in the kitchen baking.

In addition to his two daughters from Marriage No. 1, Brian Wilson also is a grandfather. With her husband Robert Bonfiglio, Carnie has two children, Lola and Luciana. Wendy got married to Daniel Knutson and they have four boys: twins Will and Jesse, along with Leo and Beau.

Dakota Rose, Daria Rose, Delanie Rose, Dylan, and Dash Wilson

OK, what’s the story behind Brian Wilson and his wife Melinda adopting these children? It’s pretty simple and Melinda talked about the reasons in 2004.

“About a year into our marriage, we decided we wanted children, and we didn’t get married til I was 48,” she told talk-show host Larry King. “We decided that we would adopt.” Brian Wilson added that he was glad to do it.

These five children just stay out of the limelight. If you are looking for photos of them on some website, then you will be deeply disappointed. One recent sighting was on Wilson’s Instagram, where he put up one from 2009 when Taylor Swift came through Los Angeles on her Ruthless tour. He put up the picture to honor Swift for being named TIME’s Person of the Year.

After Melinda died, the family filed for a conservatorship for Brian Wilson. In court filings, this order states that he suffers from a “major neurocognitive disorder (such as dementia).”

In a family statement sent to People in February 2024, it said, “Following the passing of Brian’s beloved wife Melinda, after careful consideration and consultation among Brian, his seven children, Gloria Ramos and Brian’s doctors (and consistent with family processes put in place by Brian and Melinda), we are confirming that longtime Wilson family representatives LeeAnn Hard and Jean Sievers will serve as Brian’s co-conservators of the person.”