Feb. 8, 2019: Lindsey Buckingham Reveals Open Heart Surgery

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Lindsey Buckingham and his wife, Kristen Buckingham via his Facebook page

Lindsey Buckingham was in the headlines in early 2019 when it was revealed that he had suffered vocal cord damage as a result of open heart surgery. The news was shared by his wife, Kristen Buckingham, on the musician’s social media platforms on February 8, 2019. She wrote that he was “recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last.” Read her complete statement below.

Buckingham had a highly visible divorce from Fleetwood Mac one year earlier. The band then went on a world tour with two replacements – the Heartbreakers’ lead guitarist Mike Campbell, and longtime Split Enz/Crowded House guitarist-vocalist Neil Finn. Buckingham spent much of his time that year organizing an anthology and performing on a solo tour.

Fleetwood Mac acknowledged the news of their longtime bandmate’s health in a brief statement several hours after the news broke. “We are saddened by this news. Our thoughts and love go out to Lindsey and his entire family. We are hopeful for his speedy recovery.”

Buckingham had been planning on scheduling 2019 concerts and one such date had already shown up. He was listed as playing at the Doheny Blues Festival on May 18-19, but his performance was subsequently cancelled.

Kristen Buckingham’s complete statement on Feb. 8:

“I am sad to say that late last week Lindsey underwent emergency open heart surgery. He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last. While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.

“This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family to say the least. But despite all this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate he’s alive. As does he. He looks forward to recovery and putting this behind him. Needless to say, all touring and shows currently scheduled have been put on pause for the moment as he gathers the strength to heal completely.

“Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care. Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 to heart related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician.

“We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time. We can’t thank you enough for all you did for our family. We will never forget you. XO”

LeeLee Buckingham (Photo: via Kristen Buckingham’s Instagram account)

The musician ultimately took the stage, albeit briefly, on May 17, to play guitar at his daughter LeeLee’s high school graduation.

Three days later, Kristen Buckingham tweeted: “The love and support for Lindsey and our family from all of you means the world. Thank u! Please think good thoughts this week and send L the best healing vibes as we head east to meet with vocal specialist. We’re ready for whatever is next. Love conquers all.”

Related: Our review of a Buckingham concert in October 2018

Buckingham ultimately scheduled a brief solo tour for 2020 but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. He did a private 4-song performance via Zoom and played a 45-minute streamed set on Dec. 5. He released a self-titled album in 2021.

Watch him perform several favorites

When he tours, tickets to see Buckingham in concert are available here and here.

Best Classic Bands Staff
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2 Comments so far

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    #1 SHIRLEY 9 February, 2019, 01:36

    LINDSEY, Sorry to Hear about Health Crisis. Just FOCUS on a Speedy Recovery and Returning to Performing in the Near Future. You know we Love your MUSIC. Get Well Soon… All the Best!!

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  2. Scottydog
    #2 Scottydog 10 February, 2019, 01:59

    So sorry to hear about Lindsey…far out, if it isn’t enough getting basically ‘pushed out’ of Fleetwood Mac after all Lindsey has inventively contributed over the many years, he then has open-heart surgery. Thank goodness he is on the road to recovery and my prayers are with you all that his precious vocal chords will heal.

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