Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. Within the band, Wilson played bass and keyboards, also providing part-time lead vocals and, more often, backing vocals, harmonizing in falsetto with the group. Besides being the primary composer in The Beach Boys, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. Wilson's life was derailed by years of drug abuse and mental illness, contributing to tensions with the band. After years of treatment and recuperation, he began a solo career in 1988.