Mick Fleetwood told Reuters that ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch Jr.'s suicide was "incredibly out of character."
"He was a very, very profoundly intelligent human being and always in good humor, which is why this is so unbelievably shocking," Fleetwood said.
Police say the 66-year-old shot himself in the chest at his Nashville home, where his wife later found the "Sentimental Lady" singer-songwriter.
Stevie Nicks told the Associated Press Welch's passing is "devastating."
"I had many great times with him," she said. "He was an amazing guitar player -- he was funny, sweet -- and he was smart."
Police say Welch had been sick, and left a suicide note.
These statements jibe with what Nashville Songwriters Association leadership has said.
Bart Herbison, quoting Welch's wife, Wendy, said the L.A. native recently had surgery to his spine. Doctors told him his condition would not improve.
Herbison indicated the late musician didn't want to burden his wife with the demands of caregiving.
Welch was a vocalist and guitarist for Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974.
He later went on to form his own rock group, and enjoyed a successful solo career with several hits. Most notably, 1977's "Sentimental Lady" featured backup vocals by Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham.
In recent years, Fleetwood Mac had put its well-publicized differences aside to go on several successful reunion tours.
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