Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie – an accomplished singer-songwriter who penned several hit songs for the iconic band – died yesterday (November 30) after a short illness. She was 79 years old.
Her family released a statement, saying: “On behalf of Christine McVie’s family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death. She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness. She was in the company of her family. We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this extremely painful time, and we would like everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and revered musician who was loved universally. RIP Christine McVie.”
Fleetwood Mac also shared a statement that read, “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie. She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure. She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life. We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”
Born Christine Perfect in 1943 in England, McVie was part of a pretty musical family, but didn't really take to music until the age of 11. After eventually shifting her focus from classical training to rock and roll, she became involved in Britain's blues scene with several bands of the mid-1960s.
She first arrived on the charts as a member of the British blues-rock combo Chicken Shack. She sang the lead vocals on the U.K. hit “I’d Rather Go Blind,” the band’s 1969 cover of Etta James’ 1967 song.
By that time, she had married John McVie, bassist for Fleetwood Mac, then led by guitarist and founder Peter Green. She appeared on the band’s sophomore album Mr. Wonderful (1968) and on Green’s last record with the group he founded, Then Play On (1969). By 1971, she had joined as a permanent member of the band.
Throughout 1971-74, McVie grew as an artistic force in the band as a songwriter, keyboardist, and lead vocalist. In 1974, American duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, which catapulted the band into the pop realm. McVie sang on Fleetwood Mac's breakthrough hits from their 1975 self-titled album, “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me.”
By 1977, Buckingham and Nicks’ personal relationship and the McVies’ marriage had both disintegrated, leading to the landmark album Rumours. That record, which included McVie's biggest songwriting hit “Don’t Stop,” became one of the best-selling albums of all time and received the Album of the Year Grammy in 1978.
Though the band never came close to achieving the same success as they did in ’77, they continued to release albums through the 90s. McVie penned and sang several of the group’s most prominent latter-day hit singles: “Think About Me” (from 1979’s Tusk), “Hold Me” (from 1982’s Mirage), and "Everwhere" and “Little Lies” (from 1987’s Tango in the Night).
In 1994, McVie opted out of a tour, leading to an 18-year hiatus from the band. However, in early 2014, she returned to Fleetwood Mac’s recording and touring lineup. By that time, the lineup also included both Buckingham and Nicks again, after they had gone on hiatuses for solo endeavors.
With her ex-husband and other band members of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Christine McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. McVie released three solo albums during her lifetime; her self-titled 1984 release was the only one to reach the American charts, peaking at No. 26.
Between her 1976 divorce from McVie and her 1986 marriage to Eddy Quintela (they divorced in 2003), she was engaged for three years to the Beach Boys’ drummer-songwriter-vocalist Dennis Wilson. McVie is survived by her brother, John, and her nephew.
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