Police spokesman Don Aaron said Welch’s wife Wendy found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest at their south Nashville home yesterday. There was a suicide note found with the body.
Welch (65) had suffered health problems recently. He apparently had spinal surgery three months ago but the prognosis was not good and he did not want her to have to care for an invalid.
The couple had no children.
Welch was a guitarist and vocalist for rock group Fleetwood Mac, which had hits such as ‘Dreams’ in 1977 and ‘Don’t Stop’ the same year, which later became the anthem for Bill Clinton’s 2002 presidential campaign.
But that was the band’s heyday, after Welch left them in 1974.
Welch, a native of Los Angeles, scored his biggest solo hit with Sentimental Lady, which reached No 8 on the Billboard chart. His other singles included ‘Precious Love’ in 1979 and ‘Hot Love, Cold World’ in 1978.
As a songwriter, Welch had his songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Sammy Hagar, the Pointer Sisters and others.
When Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Welch was not included in the group.
“It basically comes down to the fact that they don’t like me anymore,” he told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland at the time. “I guess they can do what they want.”
But long-time Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks said she is devastated by Bob Welch’s death.