According to Nashville’s ABC affiliate, Welch’s wife found the musician shortly after noon, with a gunshot wound to the chest at their home in Antioch, Tennessee
Police have indicated there was a suicide note left by Welch. According to Police Spokesman Don Aaron, Welch had a history of health problems, but would not elaborate.
Welch joined the British based Fleetwood Mac in 1971 after Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer left the group. He provided vocals and guitar on five albums including Future Games and Bare Trees. Some have attributed him for helping the band fuse blues and pop-rock, leading the way for Stevie Nicks.
Welch wrote the song “Hypnotized,” which was included on their 1973 album Mystery to Me. He took over lead guitar after Danny Kirwan departed In 1973. and the band released the last album Welch would contribute to Heroes Are Hard to Find. He left the band shortly after the release and soon after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the group.
In 1998 Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Welch was not include in the band.
Welch did better on his own as a solo artist reaching platinum for his 1977 album French Kiss.