Police spokesman Don Aaron said Welch’s wife found him with a chest wound at their south Nashville home around 12:15 p.m.
Welch was a guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He formed the British rock group Paris in 1976 and had hits including “Sentimental Lady” in 1977 and “Ebony Eyes” in 1978. Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham did backing vocals on “Sentimental Lady.”
Aaron said Welch apparently had had health issues recently. He said a suicide note was left.
Fleetwood Mac’s career took off in the mid-1970s after Welch left the band. “Dreams” was a No. 1 hit in 1977 and “Don’t Stop” the same year. “Don’t Stop” later became the anthem for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. “Hold Me” was a hit in 1982, as was “Little Lies” in 1987.
Welch, a native of Los Angeles, scored his biggest hit with “Sentimental Lady,” which reached No. 8 on the Billboard chart. His other singles included “Hot Love, Cold World” in 1978 and “Precious Love” in 1979.