Ex Fleetwood Mac rocker Lindsey Buckingham has open heart surgery, vocal cord damage

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham underwent emergency open heart surgery last week which resulted in vocal cord damage, his wife Kristen revealed on Facebook Friday.

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Lindsey Buckingham is recovering from open heart surgery, his wife said on Facebook Friday. (Photo: Charles Sykes, Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

“He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last,” she wrote. “While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.”

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Buckingham’s rep Dana Erickson confirmed the rocker’s hospitalization to USA TODAY.

Last April the band revealed Lindsey Buckingham would not be joining their upcoming tour, with Mick Fleetwood telling Rolling Stone the group “arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall.” Buckingham subsequently sued the band for tour profits and told Rolling Stone they settled in December.

“This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family, to say the least,” wrote Kristen on Friday. “But despite all this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate he’s alive. As does he. He looks forward to recovery and putting this behind him. Needless to say, all touring and shows currently scheduled have been put on pause for the moment as he gathers the strength to heal completely.”

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Kristen said she hopes others seek preventative care. “Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 to heart-related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician.”

Buckingham, 69, joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974 with then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks and has been its frequent frontman and sometime songwriter for most of the years since. He wrote and sang hits such as “Go Your Own Way” and “Tusk.”

He previously left the band from 1987 to 1996 and was inducted with them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Fleetwood Mac’s more than 50-city tour began Oct. 3, with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn replacing Buckingham.

Buckingham embarked on his own solo tour last fall.

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