A spokesman for the Nashville Police, Don Aaron, said that Welch's wife found him with a chest wound at their Nashville home around 12:15 p.m. local time. Aaron said that Welch had had recent health issues and left a suicide note.
Welch was a guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac for three years before he went on to form the British rock group, Paris, in 1976. The group didn't find success until after he left the band, in 1977, but Welch had several hits including "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady," for which Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham did backing vocals.
Welch released his final album, His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond, Vol. 2, in 2006.