Robert Lawrence Welch Jr. (August 31, 1945 – June 7, 2012) was an American musician who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He had a successful solo career in the late 1970s. His singles included “Hot Love, Cold World”, “Ebony Eyes”, “Precious Love”, “Hypnotized”, and his signature song, “Sentimental Lady”.
Welch had undergone spinal surgery three months prior to his death. Despite the surgery, doctors told him his prognosis for recovery was poor, and he would eventually become an invalid. He was still in considerable pain, despite taking the medication pregabalin (Lyrica) for six weeks. On June 7, 2012, around 6:00 am, Welch died by suicide, shooting himself in his Nashville home; his wife Wendy discovered his body. He left a nine-page suicide note and love letter for Wendy. He was 66 years old. Wendy died on November 28, 2016, from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease, also aged 66. Bob and Wendy Welch are buried beside each other in Memphis, Tennessee.
An exhibit chronicling Bob Welch’s career opened at The Musicians Hall of Fame at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on August 27, 2018. Despite the lawsuit over a decade earlier, Fleetwood wrote a tribute for the exhibit. His estate has endowed a scholarship to support Belmont School of Music students.