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Ex-Fleetwood Mac star has heart surgery

By AAP Newswire

Lindsey Buckingham is recovering after emergency open heart surgery that has left him with vocal cord damage.

The former Fleetwood Mac rocker's wife, Kristen Buckingham, posted the update on Facebook, capping off a tumultuous year for the guitarist that included his ouster from the Grammy-winning band.

"Each day he is stronger than the last," his wife wrote. "While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not."

All touring and shows scheduled will be put on pause as Buckingham "gathers the strength to heal completely," she added.

The 69-year-old guitarist has a family history of heart-related problems that claimed the lives of his father and brother, said his wife, who accompanied the update with a hospital photo of the rocker. She noted that the family shared its story in hopes that it would inspire others to seek preventative care.

"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," she added.

Buckingham's official departure from Fleetwood Mac came in April when the band announced Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House were joining the line-up. Shortly after the band announced a new tour and Buckingham announced his own solo tour.

In October, Buckingham sued Fleetwood Mac and blamed Stevie Nicks for getting him fired.

Fleetwood will tour Australia and New Zealand during August and September.