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Former Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham Has Emergency Open Heart Surgery, Damages Vocal Cords

Lindsey Buckingham Open-Heart Surgery
Kristen Buckingham and Lindsey Buckingham Courtesy of Kristen Buckingham/Instagram

Battling health issues. Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was forced to undergo open heart surgery that left him with damaged vocal cords.

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The 69-year-old rock star’s wife, Kristen Buckingham, confirmed the news on Instagram on Friday, February 8, with a lengthy message about her husband’s wellbeing.

“I am sad to say that last week Lindsey underwent emergency open heart surgery,” she wrote. “He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last. While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is … unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.”

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A message from Kristen.

A post shared by Lindsey Buckingham (@lindseybuckingham) on

According to the interior designer, 49, other members of the musician’s family tree have also suffered from heart problems. “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,” she wrote while encouraging fans to seek treatment for symptoms they may be experiencing.

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Kristen also acknowledged her family’s struggles as of late, which included an October lawsuit against Lindsey’s former band after he was fired from the group in April 2018. The suit accused the group of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. “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. 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.”

Lindsey’s ex bandmate and ex-girlfriend, Steve Nicks, posted a statement on behalf of the band on Instagram Friday. “We are saddened by this news,” it read. “Our thoughts and love go out to Lindsey and his entire family. We are hopeful for his speedy recovery.”

Mick Fleetwood previously spoke out about Fleetwood Mac’s decision to part ways with their longtime bandmate to Rolling Stone in April. “Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” he said at the time. “Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall. This was not a happy situation for us in terms of the logistics of a functioning band. To that purpose, we made a decision that we could not go on with him. Majority rules in term of what we need to do as a band and go forward.”

Nicks, 70, who dated Lindsey in the ‘70s, also shared her thoughts on the decision, telling the publication, “Our relationship has always been volatile. We were never married, but we might as well have been. Some couples get divorced after 40 years. They break their kids’ hearts and destroy everyone around them because it’s just hard. This is sad for me, but I want the next 10 years of my life to be really fun and happy. I want to get up every day and dance around my apartment and smile and say, ‘Thank God for this amazing life.’”

Lindsey revealed in December during an appearance on CBS This Morning that his case against the band had been settled.

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“We’ve all signed off on something. I’m happy enough with it. I’m not out there trying to twist the knife at all. I’m trying to look at this with some level of compassion, some level of wisdom,” he said at the time.

The famed musician also revealed that accordion player Christine McVie had since reached out to him. “She wrote me an email and basically said, ‘Dearest Lindsey, just know that I had nothing to do with any of this. Know that I miss you so much.’ She said, ‘I believe deep in Stevie’s heart that she would like you to come home.’”

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