Christine McVie, singer and songwriter, who played with Fleetwood Mac died at the age of 79 on Wednesday, her family announced on Christine’s Instagram.
The Instagram statement read, “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 a 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 put out a statement on Twitter 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 luck to have a life with her.”
Born Christine Perfect in Cumbria in 1943, her father a concert violinist and music teacher, and her mother apsychic healer.
As the 60’s started swinging, she went to art college and started performing with bands, eventually falling in with blues group, Chicken Shack, where the subtler songs she fronted ended up finding the greatest commercial success. Her cover of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind went into the top 20, and Melody Maker readers voted her the best female vocalist in both 1969 and 1970. She released a solo album too, but couldn’t stand life as a solo artist.
Meanwhile, after Chicken Shack supported Fleetwood Mac on tour, Perfect fell in love with John McVie, and they married in 1968. She then declared she was retiring to become a housewife, although she spent most of her time with John and Fleetwood Mac.
That lasted until Fleetwood Mac invited her to go on a U.S. tour, and she became a full member. Fleetwood encouraged her song-writing, with her pop friendly sound gradually becoming more prominent as the group more prominent as the group went through more line-up changes and a string of album releases, although most were not hits.
They relocated to Los Angeles in 1974, initially planning to be there for a few months to make a fresh start. The group invited a U.S. singer and guitarist called Lindsey Buckingham to join. He said yes, but only if his girlfriend, singer Stevie Nicks, could join too. The classic Fleetwood line-up was born.
Fleetwood Mac became one of the world’s best known rock bands in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Their 1977 album “Rumours,” inspired by the break-up of the McVies and the band’s other couple, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, became one of the best-selling of all time, with more than 40 million sold worldwide.
McVie left Fleetwood Mac after 28 years in 1998, but returned in 2014. “It was amazing, like I’d never left. I climbed back on there again and there they were, the same old faces on stage,” she told the Guardian newspaper at the time.
McVie was one of eight members of the band inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
People from all around the globe were recalling their friendship and love of the beloved artist…here are a few tributes:
Harry Styles was among those paying tribute, sharing a black-and-white picture with McVie with emojis of a bird and a black heart.
Stevie Nicks posted on Instagram, “A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away.
“I didn’t even know she was ill, until late Saturday night. I wanted to be in London, I wanted to get to London, but we were told to wait.
“So, since Saturday, one song has been swirling around my head, over and over and over. I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her, and so, I’m singing it to her now.
“I always knew I would need these words one day…It’s all I can do now.”
Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn, who played with Fleetwood Mac in Lindsey Buckingham’s place on their last tour in 2018 wrote, “She was a unique and soulful musician, supremely gifted songwriter and a warm and wonderful friend and I am so grateful to have shared some tours in her beautiful presence.”
Singer Sheryl Crow said, “The world feels weird without her here. What a legend and an icon and an amazing human being.”
Former US President Bill Clinton tweeted, “Don’t Stop was my 1992 campaign theme song, it perfectly captured the mood of a nation eager for better days. I’m grateful to Christine & Fleetwood Mac for entrusting us with such a meaningful song. I will miss her.”
Band co-founder Mick Fleetwood wrote in a tweet Wednesday, “This is a day where my dear sweet friend Christine McVie has taken flight…and left us earthbound folks to listen with bated breath to the sounds of that song bird…reminding one and all that love is all around us to reach for and touch in this precious life that is gifted to us.
“Part of my heart has flown away today…I will miss everything about you Christine McVie.”
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