Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Danny Kirwan Dies Aged 68

CreditRB  Redferns via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) ― Danny Kirwan, a key force in Fleetwood Mac's bluesy three-guitar attack of the late '60s and as a singer and songwriter on the group's transitional albums of the early '70s, died Friday.

In the band's Facebook post, Fleetwood hailed Kirwan's legacy and said it "will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac". No cause of death has been given.

Danny Kirwan during a Fleetwood Mac concert in Hannover in Germany in 1970.

'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.

In 1998, Kirwan became one of the eight members of Fleetwood Mac to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, however he did not attend the ceremony, according to Rolling Stone.

Divorced, Kirwan is survived by a son. Kirwan released four solo albums in the 1970s but was plagued by bouts of mental illness and homelessness. At just 17, he convinced Fleetwood Mac's producer, Mike Vernon, to watch his band Boilerhouse rehearse.

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His work was featured on five of the band's albums released between 1969 and 1972.

By now Kirwan was growing apart from his bandmates, but his contribution to this period in the group's history as a guitarist, vocalist and writer is, like that of his fleeting colleague Bob Welch, hard to underestimate.

Later that year, Kirwan was sacked from the band, amid bad behavior and alcoholism. It cites Kirwan's Bare Trees' track "Sunny Side of Heaven" as "one of the 10 best Mac songs ever recorded".

No details about his death were immediately available.

Kirwan, who was also a songwriter, was sacked in 1972 according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's website.

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