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Fleetwood Mac's Danny Kirwan, Mick Fleetwood, Jeremy Spencer, John McVie and Peter Green in 1969 © REX/Shutterstock

Ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan has died aged 68, the band have announced.

Mick Fleetwood and his Fleetwood Mac band mates announced the news of Kirwan’s passing on Facebook over the weekend without specifying a cause.

They wrote: “Today (8th June) was greeted by the sad news of the passing of Danny Kirwan in London, England. Danny was a huge force in our early years.

“His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, where he made his musical home for many years.

“Danny’s true legacy, in my mind, will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac, that has now endured for over fifty years.

“Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed!”

The Brixton-born musician was recruited to the band in 1968 when he was just 18 years old and remained a member of the band until 1972.

His first recorded work with the band was on Peter Green’s instrumental track ‘Albatross’, which peaked at number one and has sold over 900,000 copies in the UK alone.

Speaking in 1998, Green said: "I would never have done ‘Albatross’ if it wasn't for Danny. I would never have had a number one hit record.”

Kirwan appeared on four Fleetwood Mac studio albums – 1969’s ‘Then Play On’, 1970’s ‘Kiln House’, 1971’s ‘Future Games’ and 1972’s ‘Bare Trees​’ – together with a clutch of compilation albums.

Post-Fleetwood Mac he went on to enjoy a solo career and released a trio of albums in the late seventies - ‘Second Chapter’ (1975), ‘Midnight in San Juan’ (1976) and ‘Hello There Big Boy!’ (1979). A demos album ‘Ram Jam City’ followed in 2000.

RIP Danny Kirwan.