Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dead at 68

Danny Kirwan

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.

"Danny was a huge force in our early years", Fleetwood Mac cofounder Mick Fleetwood said in a statement posted on the band's Facebook page.

The musician passed away in London, England on Friday, though no cause of death has been given.

"Thank, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed!"

Kirwan was just 18 when he joined the band, with whom he collaborated for roughly three years on 1969's Then Play On and Blues Jam at Chess, 1970's Kiln House, 1971's Future Games, and 1972's Bare Trees.

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".

Kirwan was born in the South London neighborhood of Brixton on May 13, 1950.

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Fleetwood Mac pictured in 1969. He went on to play on five of their albums starting in 1968 with his first appearance being on the hit song "Albatross". He then played on their third album, Then Play On, released in September 1969, which reached #6 on the United Kingdom charts.

By 1972, the group's evolving lineup had changed significantly.

He was eventually fired from the band due to his alcoholism, and released four albums of his own. Though the album failed to chart in the United Kingdom, it reached #70 in the U.S. Five of the album's 10 songs - including the title track - were written by Kirwan.

The next few decades, however, Kirwan's struggles continued, and he reportedly suffered from mental health issues and even became homeless, according to Rolling Stone.

He did not attend the ceremony when he and his fellow bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

According to Variety, no details surrounding his death are immediately available.

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