Paternal 21st cousin, 2x removed
It took me a few days to realize that Carnie Wilson and her sister, Wendy (see separate page), better known as 2 of the 3 three very talented ladies who make up the group 'Wilson-Phillips', were my cousins. For some strange reason I didn't realize that they were the daughters of Brian Wilson, my 21st cousin once removed, of The Beach Boys fame.
It wasn't that I didn't know who Carnie and Wendy were - I was familiar with their work as singers, both with Chyna Phillips (daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Momma's & the Papas), as well as some of the songs they recorded without Chyna (Hey Santa still plays every Christmas and I know it by heart!), I guess I had just thought of these two ladies as being famous for their own work, and not because of their famous family.
Since drawing the connection to my own family, I have done a little more research on both of these ladies. I have had more luck finding out more about Carnie as she is active on TV and social media, and she also owns a boutique bakery called "Love Bites" that makes and sells what appears to be delicious baked goods (not available in Canada yet, sadly!). Carnie also donated an autographed DVD of one of the Wilson-Phillips albums through 'Celebrities Who Give" which I discovered through Carnie's social media postings which I had started to follow to learn a little more about this famous distant cousin. As it turns out, the bidding on the CD was a bit low - especially considering the proceeds were destined for a children's cancer hospital - so I placed a larger bid and tried to garner some extra interest through my own social media accounts. Well, with the onset of the Covid pandemic, the bid I placed ended up winning and, when all this craziness is finally under control, I will be the proud owner of a signed DVD where 2 of the 3 singers are my 21st cousins. Pretty cool, even if I do say so myself!
Aside from singing, I have discovered that Carnie also has been involved in a number of TV shows and has appeared as herself as a claimant on one of those memorable Progressive Insurance commercials.
Active on Instagram and Twitter, I have had the pleasure of watching some of Carnie's live Instagram posts. An accomplished cook and baker, Carnie often shares recipes and cooks live in her home along with her two daughters, Lola and Luci (21st cousins, 3x removed). Carnie comes across as a caring mother and a very down-to-earth person as she jokes, sings and speaks to her audience as she cooks, bakes or just stays in touch with everyone. Since I have only seen these webcasts during the current pandemic, I cannot say for certain what her webcasts look like in "normal" times, but I think it's safe to say that Carnie, and her family are just regular people with some extraordinary talents.
One other personal note that I want to make about this talented cousin that highlights her "real" persona: when I was researching my connection with her father and famous uncles, Dennis and Carl Wilson, I came across an old photo of Carnie's grandmother, Audree Neva Korthoff, the wife of my 21st cousin, Murry Gage Wilson. The photo was from her high school yearbook and showed her with 2 of her girlfriends who had formed their own vocal group way back in 1935. I sent the photo to Carnie via Twitter, and much to my surprise, she wrote back and thanked me for the photo. The thank you made my day, and made my seemingly endless family research seem worthwhile.
Update: December, 2022
I have once again been impressed by Carnie's personality and appreciation for her followers & fans. Carnie had posted a Twitter post about how grateful she is for nice people and then asked people to "try to be nice. It can make someone's day." I responded, saying that she leads by example in this regard. I also mentioned that a good friend of mine had the pleasure of meeting & interviewing her, Wendy and Chyna years ago, and said (about Carnie) "she's charming and real." To this, Carnie had the grace to respond directly to my tweet. Carnie is truly a class act, and if you doubt that, watch her videos and how she interacts with fans, family and interviewers and see for yourself!
As with all my other famous distant relatives, I don't/didn't know Carnie, Wendy, Brian, Dennis or Carl Wilson, at least from the standpoint of having actually met them, but I do know them for the wonderful gift of music that they have given to us for so many years. Thank you all for the great music that has made our lives so much better!