Carl Dean Wilson (December 21, 1946 – February 6, 1998) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best remembered as their lead guitarist and as the youngest brother of bandmates Brian and Dennis Wilson.
Influenced by the guitar playing of Chuck Berry and the Ventures, Carl's initial role in the group was that of lead guitarist and backing vocals, but he occasionally performed lead vocals on several of their hits, including "God Only Knows" (1966) and "Good Vibrations" (1967). Unlike other members of the band, he often played alongside the studio musicians employed during the group's critical and commercial peak in the mid 1960s. After Brian began withdrawing from the group, Carl was forced to take a more active production role, and he became the band's musical director on stage from 1965 until his death from lung cancer in 1998.
During the 1980s, he attempted to launch a solo career, releasing the albums Carl Wilson (1981) and Young Blood (1983). Shortly before his death, he recorded material with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, later released for the posthumous album Like a Brother (2000).
In 1988, Carl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beach Boys.