Some people know Carnie Wilson as a pop singer, a progeny of one of the most famous artists of all time (Beach Boys co-founder and mastermind Brian Wilson) with her own hit-laden and Grammy Award-nominated track record with the group Wilson Phillips.
Others know her as a TV personality with a resume that includes co-hosting “The View,” hosting her own talk show, “Carnie!,” as well as “Bottom Line’s Secret Food Cures,” and acting on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” She also does radio and TV voiceovers, is a published author of autobiographies and a cookbook, a Playboy model and a motivational speaker for health and Morbid Obesity issues.
Carnie, in her own words, is simply “a go-getter.” “I like to work,” she explains. “I don’t like to stop moving — like a shark! But at the same time, I never do something unless my heart’s in it. I can’t be fake. I really go by instinct, and it seems like everything I do has to have some kind of message behind it.”
People have actually been enjoying Carnie in a variety of arenas for nearly two decades now.
Music, of course, was a given considering her surroundings while growing up. “When I was five or six, we started performing for the family,” she recalls. “We’d have little concerts and charge five cents. Everyone would come into the living room and we’d stand on the fireplace and perform. It was a natural thing to do.”
Showing off the combined genes of the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas, Wilson Phillips debuted at No. 1 in 1990 with their first single, “Hold On” — the Billboard Music Award winner for Hot 100 Single of the Year — selling more than 11 million copies of their three albums and producing six Top 20 singles. Carnie’s voice has also graced albums by her father as well as by James Ingram, Belinda Carlisle, Billy Idol and the late Robert Palmer. In 2006, shortly after the birth of her daughter Lola Sofia, she recorded A Mother�s Gift: Lullabies From the Heart, which featured a combination of originals and covers.
Her TV career has also included a correspondent gig on “Entertainment Tonight,” stints on VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club” and “That 70s Show.” Her published works include two memoirs — 2001’s “Gut Feeling” and 2003’s “I’m Still Hungry”– as well as the cookbook “To Serve With Love” in 2005.
Suffering from a lifelong battle with Morbid Obesity, Carnie chose not to hide it like some celebrities might but instead turned her struggle into a vehicle to inspire others. Her cybercast gastric bypass surgery in 1999 drew more than 2.5 million hits and attracted worldwide media attention. Since then Carnie has spoken extensively about Morbid Obesity and regularly contributes her message on Lite And Hope’s official web site and via her online Carnie Wilson Obesity Support Group.
In 2008 she has more endeavors planned. There are several TV ideas in the works, as well as a desire to record an a capella album with her father and sister and to one day open a restaurant. Whatever she accomplishes — and, knowing Carnie, it’s a safe bet that it will be most of that list — it will only add to a career of achievements that will go far beyond her list of pop hits.
“I don’t get bored,” she says. “I’m always thinking of stuff to do, and I’m having a lot of fun. It’s cool to look back and see everything I’ve done. That’s why I get into all these different things. It’s very fulfilling.”