Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green dead at 73

The influential blues rock guitarist was part of the original line-up before exiting in 1970.

Peter Green, one of the co-founders of Fleetwood Mac, has died. He was 73.

Green’s passing was confirmed by his family’s lawyers in a statement on Saturday. According to the law firm Swan Turton, the legendary blues rock guitarist died “peacefully in his sleep,” per BBC, and that more information about the cause of death will be released later.

Green started his career in 1965 as part of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Two years later, he formed Fleetwood Mac with former Bluesbreakers drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Together, they released hits like “Black Magic Woman,” “Albatross” and “Man of the World.”

However, Green’s time with Fleetwood Mac came to an end in 1970 after he struggled with his mental health and substance abuse. Green was later diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent most of his time in and out of hospitals, The New York Times reported.

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Following the news, Mick Fleetwood issued a statement to Rolling Stone, saying Green’s loss was “monumental” to every “past and present member of Fleetwood Mac.” “No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion,” he added.

Stevie Nicks, who joined the band after Green’s departure, also paid tribute. “I am sorry to hear about the passing of Peter Green. My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him,” she tweeted. “His legacy will live on forever in the history books of Rock ’n’ Roll. It was in the beginning, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and I thank you, Peter Green, for that. You changed our lives.”

Other musicians including Whitesnake’s David Coverdale, Yusuf Islam (fka Cat Stevens), Peter Frampton and Johnny Marr of The Smiths also mourned Green’s passing on social media.

RIP, Peter Green. Stream a compilation of his best works for Fleetwood Mac below:

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