Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has had his vocal cords damaged during emergency open heart surgery.
In posts on social media, the musician’s wife, Kristen Buckingham, said her husband is recuperating at home, and is hopeful the damage is not permanent.
“This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family, to say the least,” she wrote. “But despite all this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate he’s alive.”
Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac last year just before the start of their tour. He last played with the band just over a year ago at a Grammy MusiCares event in New York at which the famously dysfunctional British American band were celebrated by their peers.
Afterwards, Buckingham claimed in court filings that the band “cut Buckingham off entirely”, allegedly over disagreements about their tour schedule and Buckingham’s ability to perform solo material during the tour. Buckingham claimed he would have earned about $12m on the 50-city tour. The suit was eventually settled out of court.
Fleetwood Mac formed in 1967 and has had a rotating lineup. The most famous incarnation led to the 1977 album Rumors, which sold 40m copies. The guitarist wrote some of the group’s best known songs from the record, including Go Your Own Way,” and Don’t Stop.
He performed with the band between 1975 and 1987, before leaving to pursue a solo career. He rejoined the band in 1997. Last year, Buckingham released a joint project with fellow band member Christine McVie.
The band are known for behind-the-scenes drama. In an interview with Rolling Stone after the split, Buckingham blamed frontwoman Stevie Nicks for the breakup, claiming she was upset after he smirked when she was giving a speech at a Grammy event.
Kristen Buckingham wrote that Lindsey’s father and brother both died from heart-related issues.
“We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time,” she said.