Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Bob Welch Commits Suicide

The 65-year-old musician was found in his Nashville home with a gunshot wound to the chest

The music industry has suffered the loss of another '70s performer. Bob Welch, a former singer-guitarist for Fleetwood Mac, was found dead Thursday from an apparent suicide in his Nashville home. He was 65.

According to the Associated Press, the Nashville police spokesman confirmed that Welch, who reportedly suffered from health problems, shot himself in the chest and left a suicide note. Welch's wife of 27 years, Wendy Armistead Welch, found his body on Thursday afternoon.

A Los Angeles native, Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971 and stayed with the band during a tumultuous transition part of its history that included several lineup changes. Welch, along with singer-pianist Christine McVie and bassist John McVie, formed the core of the group until December 1974, when he resigned and was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Welch went on to a moderately successful solo career in the late '70s with the album French Kiss, which spawned three hit singles: "Sentimental Lady" (originally a Fleetwood Mac track), "Ebony Eyes" and "Hot Love, Cold World."

When Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the original members as well as the McVie, Buckingham and Nicks were included in the honor -- but Welch was among the many ex-members of the group excluded from the induction.

"My era was the bridge era," Welch told the Cleveland Plain Dealer after he was snubbed. "It was a transition. But it was an important period in the history of the band. Mick Fleetwood dedicated a whole chapter of his biography to my era of the band and credited me with 'saving Fleetwood Mac.' Now they want to write me out of the history of the group. It hurts."

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