Gunnar Eric Nelson (born September 20, 1967) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter and international multi-platinum recording artist.
Nelson is the son of teen idol Ricky Nelson and actress Kristin Harmon. He is the identical twin brother of Matthew Nelson, and brother of Tracy Nelson and musician Sam Nelson. His paternal grandparents were Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard from the television program, Ozzie and Harriet. His maternal grandparents were football player and sports broadcaster Tom Harmon and actress/model Elyse Knox. His maternal uncle is actor Mark Harmon.
The Nelson brothers spent two years learning how to write songs and, in the process, met their mentor, Los Angeles record producer Marc Tanner. Tanner and the twins wrote what would become the triple-platinum After the Rain album in 1990, after being signed to Geffen Records in 1989.
Their singles, "(I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection", "After the Rain", "More Than Ever", "Only Time Will Tell" and "(You Got Me) All Shook Up," all held positions on Billboard's Top 40 with "Love and Affection" reaching #1 in September 1990, after receiving airplay on MTV where they also had #1 videos.
When "Love and Affection" reached the #1 position on the charts, the Nelsons landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family to have #1 records in three successive generations (their grandfather, Ozzie Nelson, had a #1 hit with "And Then Some" in 1934, and their father, Ricky Nelson, had #1 hits with "Poor Little Fool" in 1958 and "Travelin' Man" in 1961). However, as the British music magazine, NME, pointed out in October 1990, this feat was also achieved by Red Foley, Pat Boone and Debby Boone. Yet, because Pat Boone was the son-in-law of Red Foley, the Nelson family still holds the "Guinness Book of World Records" as Ozzie Nelson, Ricky Nelson, and Matthew Nelson and Gunnar Nelson are of the same bloodline family.
Gunnar Nelson co-founded the Stone Canyon Records label with his brother in 1995 after leaving Geffen Records. He released seven albums on that label.
Gunnar Nelson plays a variety of musical instruments, including the drums, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, piano, and bazouki.
He has toured extensively with Peter Frampton and Styx, as well as performing full band shows and acoustic duos with his brother. The headline shows included their own hits, as well as those of their late father. A live album, Like Fathers, Like Sons, featured Ricky Nelson's hit songs, as well as a tribute song they wrote to their late father called, "Just Once More". "Just Once More" was featured on CBS' daytime drama, The Bold & the Beautiful in a Valentine's episode aired in February 2006.
He also sings the theme of Team Chaotix in the video game Sonic Heroes.
Celebrity Fit Club 3:
In 2005, Gunnar Nelson became a cast member of Celebrity Fit Club (US TV series) 3, after actor Jeff Conaway left due to drug related problems. The show began airing on VH1 in 2006.
Even though to most observers - including the other cast members - Nelson was not extremely overweight (he was only a few pounds from the ideal weight for someone of his stature according to the show's "experts"), Nelson said he wanted to exchange fat for muscle during his first appearance on the show. He noted that he had already been losing weight on his own before being asked to become a cast member.
He appeared to have issues with his mother which the show's psychologist, Linda Papadopoulos, helped him during a televised trip to see his mother in New Mexico. On the trip home, Nelson told Papdopoulos he felt validated by his mother for the first time.
During the show, he lost 23 pounds and he continued to lose weight after the show ended. Gunnar started the show at 175 and weighed 152 at the finale, losing 13.1% of his body weight. After the show ended, he gained a few more pounds. He now maintains a weight around 160 pounds.
Television and radio:
Besides Celebrity Fit Club 3, both twins have hosted and appeared on numerous E! and VH1 television programs. Gunnar Nelson was the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio morning show, Lifetime Radio for one year with Jones Radio.
Gunnar and Matthew Nelson released a new rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock", on Razor and Tie Record's Monster Ballads Xmas album, for Christmas 2007. The Nelson brothers previously collaborated with Razor and Tie on the Monsters of Rock and Monster Ballads albums. In May 2007, they released a new rendition of their father's #1 hit, "Travelin' Man", on a limited edition compilation album, A Song For My Father. In addition, Gunnar has assembled the celebrity rock band, Scrap Metal. They planned a tour with famous leading frontmen of 1980s and 1990s bands such as Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger and Eric Martin of Mr. Big.
Nelson appeared on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s with his twin. Nelson's #1 hit "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" was voted and ranked #96 in the special, honoring the 100 greatest hits of the nineties. Nelson also recorded the 2007 American Music Awards TV show production music for Dick Clark Productions. It was the third consecutive year that they recorded music for the program.
Nelson released the song "Rockin' Little Roadster" on the Cars soundtrack. In 2008 Disney asked him to record another song on the follow-up CD with Fred Mullens.