Fleetwood Mac Star Bob Welch Commits Suicide, Aged 66
The musician is thought to have shot himself dead yesterday...
Fleetwood Mac, was found dead in his home in Nashville on Thursday (7th June) from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 66-years old.
According to the Nashville police, Welch shot himself in the chest, and his body was discovered by his wife around noon.
The police told WKRN-TV, Nashville's local ABC station, that Welch had been suffering from health issues recently and that he left a suicide note.
The Los Angeles-born guitarist joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, when the band was beginning to evolve from its initial setup as a hard-edged British blues combo into a polished pop/rock act.
Welch played guitar and contributed vocals on five Fleetwood Mac albums, Future Games, Bare Trees, Penguin, Mystery to Me and Heroes Are Hard to Find, the band's first to crack the U.S. top 40. He was also responsible for penning two of the band's early hits, Sentimental Lady and Hypnotized.
Welch left the band after Heroes, an opening that paved the way for Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to join, which re-energised the group and launched the band toward their long-desired commercial success and future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1998.
After leaving the band in 1974, Welch later formed the British rock group Paris in 1976 and found success as a solo artist.
His 1977 album, French Kiss, reached platinum status and spawned three hit singles: Ebony Eyes, Hot Love, Cold World and a re-recording of Sentimental Lady, on which Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham provided backing vocals.
Bandmate Mick Fleetwood has since paid tribute to Welch, telling Reuters: "He was a very, very profoundly intelligent human being and always in good humour, which is why this is so unbelievably shocking.
"He was a huge part of our history which sometimes gets forgotten ... mostly his legacy would be his songwriting abilities that he brought to Fleetwood Mac, which will survive all of us.
"If you look into our musical history, you'll see a huge period that was completely ensconced in Bob's work."
Stevie Nicks added in a statement that Bob was "an amazing guitar player - he was funny, sweet, and he was smart".
She concluded: "I'm so very sorry for his family and for the family of Fleetwood Mac - so, so sad."