The musician’s death was confirmed by his family members in a statement shared with the BBC.
“It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days,” the statement reads.
Born in London in 1946, Green began his career as a teenager in 1965 as the guitarist for John Mayall‘s Bluesbreakers, where he replaced Eric Clapton. Two years later, Green teamed up with drummer Mick Fleetwood to form Fleetwood Mac. The two later recruited John McVie on bass.
Under Green’s direction, the early incarnation of Fleetwood Mac released three albums, starting with its 1968 self-titled debut, followed by Mr. Wonderful (1968) and Then Play On (1969).
During his time in the group, Green penned such popular songs as “Albatross,” “Man of the World,” “Oh Well” and “Black Magic Woman,” which later became a hit for Santana.
Most sadly have lost one of the most tasteful guitar players ever I have always been a huge admirer of the great Peter Green may he rest in peace.
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 25, 2020
Green left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, forcing him to seek treatment in psychiatric hospitals.
Fleetwood Mac later went on to achieve major success with the new lineup of Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
Green continued to release music following his departure from Fleetwood Mac, including his 1970 solo debut, The End of the Game. Because of his mental illness, however, the guitarist wouldn’t release another solo album until 1979. His last solo release was 1983’s Kolors.
During the 1990s, Green teamed up with guitarist Nigel Watson and drummer Cozy Powell to form Peter Green Splinter Group, releasing numerous albums in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
In 1998, Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with seven other past and present other members of Fleetwood Mac.
In February, Mick Fleetwood organized an all-star tribute to the early years of Fleetwood Mac with Green, featuring performances by Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Steven Tyler and many other.
“The concert is a celebration of those early blues days where we all began, and it’s important to recognize the profound impact Peter and the early Fleetwood Mac had on the world of music,” Fleetwood explained in a statement. “Peter was my greatest mentor and it gives me such joy to pay tribute to his incredible talent. I am honored to be sharing the stage with some of the many artists Peter has inspired over the years and who share my great respect for this remarkable musician.”
Following news of Green’s death, tributes came pouring in from artists like Peter Frampton, Geezer Butler, Winston Marshall and many more. See their posts below.
Sad to hear of Peter Green passing- one of the greats. RIP. pic.twitter.com/OUHg3KwnNy
— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) July 25, 2020
Peter Green – thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/0dRpM4Luj9
— Bernie Marsden (@Bernie_Marsden) July 25, 2020
Rest easy Peter Green 💜 pic.twitter.com/ZxTrCBgrcF
— simone marie (@simonemarie4) July 25, 2020
😢Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac – "Oh Well", Live@ Music Mash 1969 https://t.co/DIxFAS9DiL via
— graham coxon (@grahamcoxon) July 25, 2020
Rest easy, Peter Green. https://t.co/W6nA2AMiAx
— Sleaford Mods (@sleafordmods) July 25, 2020