Telling Details About Carnie Wilson

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Some people's fates and futures are written in the stars, and multitalented Carnie Wilson was surely born to be something. Her father is musical genius Brian Wilson, co-founder of The Beach Boys, and her mother, Marilyn Rovell, was a member of the bands The Honeys and American Spring. Talent is in Carnie's DNA. With the voice of an angel, a personality that shines brighter than the sun, and talent seeping from her pores, the question was never if Carnie would entertain, but where in entertainment would she land? Carnie never limited herself and instead, created several careers in her 50-plus years. From hit records and a television show to a business in baking, Carnie is a successful woman — but make no mistake, she's fought tooth and nail for every single win.

While Carnie found success at every twist and turn, her life wasn't all roses and sunshine. She faced a challenging childhoodaddiction woes, and postpartum battles, and still forged on with conviction, grace, honesty, and humor. It's fair to say that Carnie Wilson has lived about 100 lives at this point. She's seen it all, done it all, and lived to tell her tale. Here is the story of an uber-talented and fascinating woman who embraces her life with openness, honesty, and nothing but love. What is next for this successful wife and mother is anyone's guess, but whatever she does, we know she will do it with that million-dollar smile on her face!

A frightening childhood

By the time Carnie Wilson was born, her father was already one of the biggest names in the music industry. Brian Wilson, along with brothers Dennis and Carl Wilson, cousin Mike Love, and pal Al Jardine were the iconic group The Beach Boys. Her family was famous, but Carnie's childhood wasn't charmed. "My childhood was scary for me. My dad was a drug addict and an alcoholic," Carnie revealed to Radiance. She explained that her mother told Carnie and her sister, Wendy Wilson, that their father was both mentally ill and a musical genius. The girls grew up with a mix of pride, fear, and embarrassment where their father was concerned.

Brian Wilson wasn't a solid and present father figure. "I found out later that he tried to stay away so that he wouldn't hurt us. He had been hurt by his father," Carnie revealed to Radiance Magazine. Hence the Wilson sisters were raised by their loving mother. Marilyn Rovell reportedly said of her marriage, "He knew he wasn't a good husband and that I was lonely and really didn't get much back from him. It wasn't like there was much of a relationship. The only way we really ever related was musically" (via Album Liner Notes). Rovell eventually divorced Brian Wilson and moved to the San Fernando Valley with her girls, bringing a mesh of relief and sadness for Carnie. "Maybe every two years, I'd see my dad. He was still on drugs. He was a mess. Not pleasant to be around" (per Radiance).

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

As a child, she had a friend in Sir Elton John

Carnie Wilson's childhood was tumultuous, but there were also bright and happy spots. One of Wilson's fondest memories is of her friendly relationship with Sir Elton John. As a child, Wilson adored Mr. Rocket Man, and per Radiance Magazine, she even invited the pop music sensation to her 6th birthday party. The busy entertainer wasn't able to attend, but he did send Wilson a teddy bear, flowers, and an invitation for tea at a later date.

Years later, Wilson expanded on her friendship with the musical icon. She appeared with her sister and former bandmate and friend, Chyna Phillips, on "The Kelly Clarkson Show." Clarkson asked about a time John put one of the women to sleep. Wilson explained that she and John had appeared on "The Talk" years prior, and he asked her, "Don't you remember I put you to sleep?" Wilson then explained that he had come over to purchase Wilson's father's piano. As John and Wilson's mother discussed a possible purchase, a little Carnie Wilson appeared. John then told her it was "time to go back to bed" and popped her back under her covers.

Wilson got tucked into bed by one of the world's most popular entertainers, but John didn't get the piano. The piano that Brian Wilson played the song "Good Vibrations" on now belongs to Carnie herself. We bet John is welcome to come and tickle those keys anytime now!

Carnie Wilson, her sister, and childhood friend created an iconic band

If you are of a certain age and you hear the song "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips come on the radio, you undoubtedly crank it up and bellow out the lyrics at the top of your lungs. (Oh yeah, we still know every single word.) Before Chynna Phillips and Carnie and Wendy Wilson became the sound of a generation, they were three friends, bonded by their unusual upbringings, painful childhoods, and sheer singing talent. The Wilson sisters were the daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Phillips is the daughter of The Mamas & The Papas band members John and Michelle Phillips. Her parents split when she was 2, and her father battled his fair share of scary demons. "You talk about drug addicts, and there's a certain arena of drug addicts, and then there's the diehard, take-it-to-the-grave addicts. That's where my father was," Phillips revealed to ABC.

As young kids, the three would create their own sounds in make-believe bands. Years later, they reconnected and formed the musical trio Wilson Phillips. Their debut album sold a whopping 10 million copies (per ABC), while their sophomore was considered a disappointing follow-up. "We hit like a storm. Three number-one songs. People were hungry for a new sound. I think the harmonies were pleasing; we had a nice blend. The lyrics were uplifting, honest, and inspiring. They described young love and relationships, and life. People related to it," Carnie told Radiance

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Carnie Wilson lost her first fiancé

Carnie Wilson has been married to her longtime love, Rob Bonfiglio, since 2000. Together they have decades of love and commitment beneath their belt and share two darling daughters, Lola and Luciana. Bonfiglio might be the last man Wilson will ever love, but he certainly wasn't the first fellow to capture her heart. Wilson was once engaged to a man named Steven. She told Radiance, "I never had trouble finding boyfriends, and I always had male friends, but I was never completely satisfied. Then Steven came around and was the most mature, smart, and sensitive guy I'd met. I immediately felt very spiritually connected with him."

Their romance didn't have a happy ending, and Steven has since passed. Wilson sat down with famous clairvoyant, Tyler Henry, hoping for resolution and clarity regarding her former love. Tyler does seem to connect with Wilson's ex-fiancé. After asking Wilson how her ex died, she said, "He was an alcoholic," an issue the mother, singer, and talk show host relates to all too well. "I used with him. We were, you know, addicts together ... but I'm the one that stayed clean and turned my life around," she added. Steven's death left her with unprocessed guilt and grief. 

Henry confirms Steven is still with Wilson in whatever she does in life, encouraging her to take every advantage and opportunity that comes her way. The experience connecting a deceased Steven was visibly emotional for Wilson, who fought back tears during her reading with Henry.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Struggles with weight and the road to healthy living

Carnie Wilson knows all about internal struggles and personal battles. One of the singer's most public and painful ones has been her battle with food addiction and weight. Wilson told Radiance that while she has always been active, she also always gravitated to the wrong types of foods, contributing to Wilson becoming severely overweight. In an attempt to shed the pounds once and for all, Wilson underwent lap band surgery in 1999. Twelve years later, after becoming a mom, she went through the intense surgery once more. "It was the right decision for me, and I'm doing really well so far. It's all about taking good care of myself," Wilson told People.

These days, Wilson knows herself better than ever and, per People, looks at her health journey as a daily decision. Along with learning healthy eating habits and ways to keep her body moving, Wilson has also learned her limits. "I always think I am one of the millions and millions of people that struggles with an addiction to food, I don't know how to relax, that's my problem. I can't smoke a joint; I can t have a glass of wine because I want ten joints and ten glasses of wine. That's my obsessive-compulsive and addictive behavior," she told Fox News.

If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Battles with other addictions

Food addiction hasn't been the only one Carnie Wilson has had to conquer. Throughout her life, she has also struggled with alcohol and substance addiction. Wilson spoke with Rosie Mercado of "The Girl With Self-Esteem Issues," explaining she believes she falls under the umbrella of "addict." Wilson explained she has the disposition to become addicted to all things, not simply food. She discussed her involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous, saying it is the only program that has ever worked for her. 

Her penchant for booze became apparent after the birth of her daughter, Lola, and the mother of two told Us Magazine she thinks her drinking stems from an inability to relax and unwind. While some people can have a glass or two of wine to release tension and stress, Wilson couldn't. She found she needed far more than that, creating a dangerous cycle. Two years later, she was living a life of sobriety, but she admitted on Facebook to "The Talk" that sobriety during quarantine was challenging. She said, "I've been applying these tools to stay sober, so I've been vigilant and accountable for many, many years. For me to stay sober right now is by the grace of God ... I pray, I stay spiritual, and I rely on ... a higher power."  She also stays connected to others who have struggled with the disease, receiving support and giving support. Self-talk and diversion also calm the call to drink. Now in her mid-50s, Wilson has the tools to stay sober.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Learning to love herself

At her heaviest, a 5-foot-3-inch Carnie Wilson weighed 300 pounds. Decades later, she has undergone two lap band surgeries and plenty of lifestyle changes to become a better version of herself, both physically and mentally. Wilson has grown to love, forgive, and accept herself (if that isn't evolution at its finest, people, we don't know what is!). She spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the process of emotional growth. When asked how she learned to embrace her curves and develop her confidence, Wilson explained that it matters what you put on your body. When a woman dresses confidently, she feels stronger, better, and more beautiful, no matter her size. "Beauty comes from within a woman. You have to feel good about yourself, who you are on the inside to feel beautiful on the outside."

This concept of loving one's body extends past Wilson herself these days. She revealed to Babble in 2010 (via People) that teaching positive body image has never mattered more now that she is a girl mom. "There are people of all different shapes and sizes, and I try to teach Lola that people aren't as sensitive as she is," Wilson said. "She's almost five, and that's the age kids in school start to tease each other. It hurts her. I try to teach her that you can have thick skin, but still be sensitive. I tell them our bodies are sacred, and we have to take care of them."

Preach it!

Carnie Wilson battled postpartum depression

Many celebrity moms have candidly discussed their battles with postpartum depression and anxiety. Brooke Shields, Reese Witherspoon, Behati Prinsloo, Jamie Chung, and Carnie Wilson have all bravely stepped forth, sharing their mental health battles with other women in hopes of breaking the stigma that continues to surround postpartum mental health issues. Considering one in seven women experience some degree of postpartum depression, it's easy to see why these famous mamas have decided to speak out, hoping to raise awareness and educate those struggling with the disease so that they receive proper care. 

Wilson explained her firsthand account with PPD to the New York Post. "Here comes this beautiful baby, and it was the most joyful and loving feeling I've ever had, and I'm trying to get her to latch onto my boob, and then I could feel my hormones change — I started having hallucinations. I saw my husband holding the baby, and I heard, 'I'm the devil, and I'm going to kill you.' I thought, 'What the hell? Who said that?'"  She knew the thought was a psychotic one, not a musing of her own mind. 

Per People, Wilson went home with her baby, and while the verbal hallucinations ceased, she then found herself crippled by her anxiety. "I don't think I was ever more scared or more freaked out than coming home from the hospital," she revealed. Wilson went on to have another daughter and experienced PPD with this birth as well but to a lesser degree. 

She sang backup for Rihanna

Carnie Wilson sold millions of records with the '90s sensation group Wilson Phillips. She has had the pleasure of belting out tunes on a tribute album, "Two Rooms," to honor her childhood idol, Elton John. She has even chimed in on a Rihanna track. The track is "FourFiveSeconds," and while most music fans know the song features RiRi, rap legend Kayne West (now known as Ye,) and a Beatle (Sir Paul McCartney), many aren't aware that it also includes the three harmonizing queens that comprise the group Wilson Phillips. Wilson told Billboard that West approached the group's manager, along with the pop trio, about playing around with the harmonies on the song. West explained, "When I think of authenticity, and I think of angelic, I think of you." The ladies took the track home and did what they do best, put their harmonizing stamp on it. Listen carefully, and you can hear the ladies in the bridge of the Billboard hit.

As for future West-Wilson Phillips collaborations, nothing is in the works, but if Wilson had her way, maybe something will take flight in the future. "I would love to see what he would have in mind because he thinks outside the box. We're so lucky to be here 25 years later, on tour with people still supporting our sound and music. This is such a blessing." 

Honestly, is anyone not a Wilson Phillips fan at this point?

Singer turned talk show host

During the mid-'90s, Carnie Wilson took her career in a new direction: talk show host, helming "Carnie!" for two seasons (1995 and 1996.) Wilson revealed to Radiance that while visiting a store with a psychic doing readings, she was told, "There's something coming around the corner that is enormous for you. This coming year is going to be incredible for you." Within weeks of that prediction, Wilson was meeting with Warner Bros. and her manager, laying the groundwork for a new talk show where Wilson would take center stage. 

Wilson might have been a natural onscreen, but she also had reservations about her new endeavor. She explained to the publication that while she'd loved talk shows for years and adored entertaining the masses, she was anxious to take a lead role sans wingmen (or rather, wing women.) Wilson had always been a part of a group, and here she was going solo for the first time. She set her fear aside and took the challenge on with full force, pouring all of her energy into the show. Her best efforts weren't enough, and Wilson revealed to Broadway World the series had some glitches. "The formula was wrong. Every time I'd want to be myself and just be, you know, they wouldn't let me, and that was the year ('95-96) that 22 talk shows came on."

After two seasons, "Carnie!" was canceled. While initially disappointed at the stop, Wilson told Broadway World she was ultimately grateful for the opportunity.

A baking baddie

One thing we love about Carnie Wilson is she truly leans into her passions, whether it's singing, television, or ... baking! Yep. Our girl can work a microphone AND an oven like a boss. Wilson really started throwing herself into baking to aid in her sobriety journey. Per Ventura Blvd, the Wilson Phillips singer said, "When I got sober, I needed something to do ... baking was therapeutic. So I started bringing desserts to 12-step meetings, and people went bonkers. Three or four days without baking, I go through withdrawals."

If Wilson really looks back, though, her talent and love for cooking came about long before adulthood. Wilson told the Hillsboro News Times she used to cook and bake with her grandmother as a young girl. Years later, while she was stirring a cheesecake batter, she heard her grandmother's voice telling her that her future and fortune lay in cheesecake ... literally. She knew then that her baking was bound to be far more than a hobby. This was yet another career move in the making for Wilson. She first tried her treats out at Sweet Harts in Sherman Oaks and then became the executive pastry chef at Studio City's Vitello's. Her yummy desserts go by the sweet name Love Bites, and Wilson told Ventura Blvd that this is because "every bit [is] made with love."

Carnie Wilson is an accomplished author

Carnie Wilson has done countless interviews over the years covering a wide variety of topics. From musical success to marriage and mental health, there is nothing she holds back from discussing with her adoring public. While the areas Wilson speaks on vary, they all have one thing in common: Wilson is charismatic, and you can't help but fall into her worlds, wanting to hear more and more of her musings, knowledge, and advice. Her openness, relatability, and life experience have made her a perfect candidate for authorship.

Throw accomplished writer into Wilson's resume of successful endeavors. To date, Wilson has published three books. "Gut Feelings: From Fear and Despair to Health And Hope" was released in 1991, and it was a memoir detailing her struggles with food and her gastric bypass surgery. "I'm Still Hungry," published in 2003, followed up on her post-surgery experience, adding how Wilson learned to have a healthier relationship with food and exercise. And "To Serve With Love" came about in 2005 — more than a cookbook, it provided inspiration for those wanting comforting dishes, as well as lower-calorie options of those favorites. Much like Wilson's many interviews, her written works range from hard truths and realizations to helpful hints and advice dotted with humor and wit. In all of her books, Wilson does what she does best (outside of harmonizing, of course); she finds an uncanny way to combine complex topics with lighthearted love and optimism.

Still married after all these years

After losing her fiancé, Steven, to alcohol addiction, Carnie Wilson managed to clean up her life, carry on, and find love once more. Wilson first met her future husband, Rob Bonfiglio, while touring in 1998. She was, of course, singing for Wilson Phillips and had been the former guitarist for Blush (among countless other bands and acts.) The two made things official in 2000 with a wedding. After all these years, they are partners in every sense of the word. They live together as husband and wife and parents and work together on various projects. (Bonfiglio serves as Wilson Phillips' musical director and producer as well as sometimes guitarist.) 

The couple has stayed together for over two decades, which is an eternity by Hollywood standards and a feat not many famous couples ever reach. What is even more incredible is that Wilson's bandmates, sister Wendy Wilson and childhood pal Chynna Phillips, are also still wed to their first husbands. Wendy Wilson married Dan Knutson in 2002, and they are raising four children together. Chynna Phillips married actor Billy Baldwin in 1995, and while they have come close to calling it quits, per Us Magazine, they are still "holding on" as well.

Carnie Wilson is an accomplished woman, indeed.