06/07/2012 at 05:55 PM EDT
Bob Welch, a singer-guitarist who left Fleetwood Mac for a successful solo career with such 1970s hits as "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady," was found dead in his Nashville home of an apparent suicide on Thursday. He was 65.
Welch, who was believed to have suffered health problems recently, shot himself in the chest and left a suicide note, says police spokesman Don Aaron, according to the Associated Press.
Welch's wife found his body Thursday afternoon.
The Los Angeles-born son of a movie producer, Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971 and performed on several albums and tours until leaving in 1974. He was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
As a solo artist, Welch garnered huge success in 1977 with a revamped version of "Sentimental Lady," which he first recorded with Fleetwood Mac, with new backing vocals by the group's Christine McVie and Buckingham, and the hit singles "Ebony Eyes" and "Hot Love, Cold World."