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Former Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Danny Kirwan Dead at 68

British rock group Fleetwood Mac, 1969. Left to right; bassist John McVie, guitarist Danny Kirwan, drummer Mick Fleetwood, guitarist Jeremy Spencer (background) and guitarist Peter Green. (Photo by Redferns/Getty Images)

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan has died, as Rolling Stone reports. His passing was confirmed by Mick Fleetwood in a heartfelt tribute on the band’s Facebook page. Kirwan was 68 years old.

“Today was greeted by the sad news of the passing of Danny Kirwan in London, England,” Mick’s statement reads. “Danny was a huge force in our early years. His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, where he made his musical home for many years.”

Kirwan joined Fleetwood Mac when he was only 18 years old, joining Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, and Jeremy Spencer for their third full-length album Then Play On, which was released in 1969. Kirwan recorded five albums with the band—Then Play On, 1969’s Blues Jam at Chess, 1970’s Kiln House, 1971’s Future Games, and 1972’s Bare Trees—as a guitarist and singer at the height of their productivity. He left the group in 1972 due to alcoholism and a deteriorating relationship with the rest of the band, but went on to release four solo albums in the second-half of the 1970s.

“Danny’s true legacy, in my mind, will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac, that has now endured for over fifty years,” Mick’s statement continues. “Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed!”