Lindsey Buckingham Can Sing Again After Surgery Damaged His Vocal Cords

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

August 10, 2020

A year-and-a-half after he feared his vocal cords had been irreparably damaged during life-saving open-heart surgery, Lindsey Buckingham can sing again.

Buckingham sang publicly last Friday for the first time since early-2019 when he went in for emergency surgery. His vocal cords were damaged when doctors placed a tube down his throat so he could breathe during the procedure.

During the recent gig, which was completed via Zoom for the software company Nutanix, Buckingham sang a four-song set including Fleetwood Mac classics "Never Going Back Again" and "Big Love," plus solo favorites "Trouble" and "Shut Us Down."

You can watch the set, plus a conversation with Buckingham, via the player embedded above.

When asked about whether he had found a "silver lining" amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Buckingham said COVID-19 is the latest in a series of challenges he's faced recently. He's thankful his family has been there to support him through it all, he says.

"For me, this is sort of like a continuation of a couple of years previous, in which things occurred that I did not see coming," the guitarist explained. "One was my split from Fleetwood Mac. Another one was having a bypass operation which I did not expect to happen. So you could say this makes it a trifecta here of events that were completely off the charts. I think there's a lesson to all of that. ...Things are going to happen that you cannot control. There certainly is a lesson in acceptance there, but there's also a lesson in looking for what is really essential within those circumstances."

Heart problems run in Buckingham's side of the family. His wife Kristen noted that at the time of the life-saving operation her husband had already lived to an older age that either his father or his brother.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had planned to return to the stage this past spring, but those plans were undercut by the pandemic.

Photo: Getty Images

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