All About Kristen Messner? Who Is Lindsey Buckingham's Wife

Lindsey Buckingham's wife Kristen Messner has been by his side through the ups and downs of his career

Published Time: 03.04.2024 - 21:31:05 Modified Time: 03.04.2024 - 21:31:05

Lindsey Buckingham's wife Kristen Messner has been by his side through the ups and downs of his career.

The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist met his wife years after his tumultuous relationship with bandmate Stevie Nicks, which famously inspired the band's 1977 album, Rumours.

Messner was a professional photographer when she met Buckingham on a photo shoot in 1996. They started a family together two years later with the birth of their first child William, and wed in 2000. Buckingham and Messner's daughter Leelee joined the family that same year and their third child, Stella, was born in 2004.

Although she started her work in photography, Messner has also worked as an interior designer in the Los Angeles area, sharing some of her work and style ideas on Instagram.

The designer has stood by Buckingham through his highs and lows, including his firing from Fleetwood Mac in 2018 and emergency heart surgery in 2019. Two years after his health emergency, PEOPLE confirmed that Messner had filed for divorce but shortly after, Buckingham revealed that they were working on their marriage.

So who is Lindsey Buckingham’s wife? Here's everything to know about Kristen Messner and her relationship with the musician.

Buckingham took a break from Fleetwood Mac in 1987 to focus on his solo career and first met Messner in 1996 when she photographed him for an album cover. A year later, he reunited with Fleetwood Mac for their best-selling live album, The Dance.

In a 2011 interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Buckingham shared that he felt lucky to have met Messner later in life.

“I had a lot of crazy girlfriends, and a lot of that was just an outgrowth of the lifestyle we were all leading," he said. "I waited and I was lucky enough to meet someone relatively late ... it's worked out really well."

Messner and Buckingham got married in 2000.

When they walked down the aisle, the couple had already welcomed their son William Gregory in 1998.

Two years after Buckingham and Messner welcomed their first child, William, their daughter Leelee Welles was born. A second daughter, Stella, joined the family in 2004.

Buckingham has opened up about being grateful he waited to have children until after his career had calmed down.

"I did see a lot of friends who were parents and spouses — back in previous decades — who weren't really there and kind of screwed up their kids and were not there for their family situations,” Buckingham told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I got all that other garbage out of the way."

Messner echoed this sentiment in a 2015 interview with La Dolce Vita. When asked about the things that were important to her, the interior designer said, “Family, love and a lot of laughter.”

Messner and Buckingham have built multiple family homes together. Each of the properties was infused with Messner’s signature style, influenced by living in L.A. and her memories of growing up in the small town of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.

In a 2004 Town & Country interview, Messner spoke about the first house that they built, a 1920s Mediterranean Revival-style mansion that featured views of Downtown L.A. and the Getty Museum. Messner’s design approach — inspired in part by her memories of porches in her hometown — was best reflected in the three outdoor corridors on the ground floor.

"Sitting outside while you watch your kids play ball on the lawn--you can't beat it," she said.

Their next project was a house in Brentwood that they custom-built in 2007. They lived there until 2019 when they downsized after their children grew up and moved away from home.

When Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018, Messner didn’t shy away from expressing her hurt. In a Rolling Stone story that same year, Messner shared her feelings about her husband’s former band.

“I was just sad,” she said. “Even though we didn’t see them very often, it was still a family of sorts." The designer shared that she and Buckingham's three children even referred to their father’s bandmates as aunts and uncles -


Although Buckingham was no longer in Fleetwood Mac, the band's bassist John McVie was still a neighbor. Messner recalled running into his wife, Julie, at a nail salon after the firing.

“My heart sank a bit,” she said. When Julie mentioned Fleetwood Mac’s upcoming tour, Messner shared, “She must have seen my face: ‘Oh, how is Lindsey doing?’ I didn’t want to sugarcoat it. I just said, ‘You know, not great.’ “

In early 2019, Buckingham had a heart attack while under anesthesia for a minor medical procedure, which led to emergency triple bypass surgery. Messner shared an update on Buckingham’s Facebook page following the surgery, including a photo of the couple in his hospital room.

“Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care,” Messner wrote. She added that Buckingham had also suffered vocal cord damage during the surgery. “While it is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not," Messner added.

In an Instagram post four months following Buckingham’s medical emergency, Messner shared a clip of her husband performing at their daughter Leelee’s high school graduation.

The proud mom also posted about the performance on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“Last night was epic. First time I’ve seen Lindsey play in the last 4 mos, all the while Leelee ending her high school career. AND she sings a little ‘Landslide’ with her dad," Messner wrote. "I cried, I’ll admit it. Never know what’s ahead so enjoy the moment…”

Messner shares her passion for horses with her youngest daughter, Stella, who rides competitively.

In 2021, Buckingham told Rolling Stone, “My wife wanted to move the entire family up to Santa Rosa Valley. She wanted to build a house on a horse ranch.”

The musician didn’t think it was a good plan and even wrote the song “Santa Rosa” to express his feelings about the idea. The family didn’t move there, but Messner fulfilled her dream by designing and building Q of E Farm.

Messner has been Buckingham’s muse, inspiring him to write some memorable songs. The singer told Rolling Stone that “It Was You” is a love song to Messner, thanking her for marrying him and having a family with him.

In an interview with The National, Buckingham shared that “When She Comes Down,” a song on his 2011 album Seeds We Sow, was written for his wife. Explaining the genesis of the lyrics, Buckingham said, "When we first met, it took Kristen a while to open up and feel safe with me. I just had to wait and have faith."

The couple have even collaborated as songwriters — for Buckingham’s 2008 album Gift of Screws, Messner is credited as a co-writer on the songs “Did You Miss Me” and "Love Runs Deeper." Their son, William also has a credit on the album for writing the chorus of "Great Day" when he was only 7.

Messner filed for divorce in June 2021, citing irreconcilable differences.

An interview with the Los Angeles Times three months later noted that Buckingham remained in the family’s Brentwood home while Messner was staying at a house that she was renting nearby. That same month, Buckingham spoke with PEOPLE and confirmed that the couple were working on their marriage despite the divorce filing.

"Relationships in the long term can be challenging, and they have their ups and downs. You've got to take that ride and be willing to take it," Buckingham said. "Over the last year Kristen felt she needed some time to herself, and I have been completely supportive of that."

Buckingham shared more about the divorce filing in a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone.

“With the pandemic, we’ve been doing marriage counseling on the phone,” he explained. “During one of the sessions, Messner told the counselor that she wanted to file to see how it feels. I thought that she should figure out what she wants and then go ahead.” He added, “I have a lot of optimism we’re going to work things out.”

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