“It was too challenging”: Fleetwood Mac say Lindsey Buckingham left after feud with Stevie Nicks

"A parting of company took place, and it had to take place."

Fleetwood Mac have confirmed that Lindsey Buckingham left the iconic rock group after reigniting his feud with Stevie Nicks.

The singer left the band in acrimonious circumstances last year and said he had been fired by Stevie Nicks, who reportedly became enraged after he was seen “smirking” while she delivered a speech at a benefit concert.

While Stevie reportedly refused to ever share a stage with Lindsey again, founder Mick Fleetwood told Mojo that it was Lindsey who ultimately received his marching orders.

“Support really could not be given to ask the situation to continue. It was too challenging,” he explained.

Fleetwood denied that Buckingham was sacked, but says the animosity between the warring ex-lovers ultimately led to his departure.

“The truth is, call it what you want, a parting of company took place, and it had to take place, and it was supported by the remaining band members around something that for sure was a major problem to two people – Lindsey and Stevie,” he explained.

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham

Keyboardist Christine McVie also said that the band had to “make a choice” and she feared a split could be on the cards if decisive action didn’t take place.

“It was the only route we could take, because there was too much animosity between certain members of the band at that point, there was just no way it could’ve gone on as a five-piece, a group with Lindsey in the band. So it was either just completely break up the band or make the best of it,” she admitted.

This comes after Buckingham began legal proceedings against his former bandmates in October 2018, claiming breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other complaints. Fleetwood Mac disputed the allegations made against them in the lawsuit before a settlement was agreed at the end of the year.

Fleetwood Mac still continue to tour despite Buckingham’s departure – with Crowded House singer Neil Finn taking his place alongside Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

Buckingham, meanwhile, was recently forced to postpone some solo dates after emergency heart surgery resulted in him damaging his vocal chords.