Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie Dies At 79
Christine McVie, co-lead vocalist and keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac, died Nov. 30 after a short illness. The English musician, who was known for her honeyed, yet bluesy vocals and prolific songwriting skills, was 79.
The news was announced with a message posted on McVie’s official Facebook: “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.”
McVie wrote some of Fleetwood Mac’s most beloved songs including “Don’t Stop,” “Songbird,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Oh Daddy” from 1977’s Rumours, along with co-writing “The Chain.” On that album, which was certified 20X Platinum in in the U.S., she sang lead vocals on “Songbird,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Oh Daddy,” and shared lead vocal duties with Lindsay Buckingham on “Don’t Stop” and Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on “The Chain.”
McVie also wrote “Everywhere,” “Say You Love Me,” “Over My Head” and “Think About Me,” along with co-writing “ “Little Lies,” “Love In Store,” “Hold Me” “As Long As You Follow” and “Skies The Limit.”
After contributing keyboards, paino and backing vocals to Fleetwood Mac’s early albums (uncredited and then known as Christine Perfect), McVie officially joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She and Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie married in 1969 and though the couple divorced in 1976 they continued recording and touring together.
In 1998 Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and became the first band to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year.
After McVie departed the band in 1998, she thrilled fans when she took the stage with Fleetwood Mac for the first time in 15 years at The O2 arena in September 2013 and then reunited with the band for its “On With The Show” tour that kicked off in Minneapolis in September 2014. The tour continued through November 2015 with dates in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Fleetwood Mac ranked No. 6 on Pollstar‘s 2015 Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart with $125.1 million grossed.
McVie hit the road with the band again in 2018 for “An Evening with Fleetwood Mac” tour with a lineup featuring Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, along with Mike Campbell and Neill Finn taking the place of Lindsey Buckingham. Fleetwood Mac ranked No. 30 on Pollstar’s 2018 Year End Top 200 North American Tours chart at $34 million grossed and No. 50 on the Worldwide Tours chart. The tour continued through November 2019, wrapping with a Nov. 16 show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas that sold 15,464 tickets and grossed $2.9 million. In 2019, Fleetwood Mac ranked No. 10 on the Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart with $112.2 million grossed.
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” Fleetwood Mac said in a joint statement posted to its socials Nov. 30. “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.”
Stevie Nicks shared the band’s statement on her own socials and then posted her own message with a handwritten note that said, “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 in 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. (Written by the Ladies Haim) It’s all I can do now …” Nicks added, followed by the lyrics to Haim’s “Hallelujah,” a track from the band’s 2020 album, Women in Music Pt. III.
“See you on the other side, my love. Don’t forget me –
In additional to her contributions on 14 of Fleetwood Mac’s studio albums, from 1971’s Future Games to 1997’s The Dance (along with her uncredited work on 1968’s Mr. Wonderful, 1969’s Then Play On and 1970’s Kiln House), McVie also released three solo albums: 1970’s Christine Perfect, 1984’s Christine McVie and 2004’s In the Meantime.
Plus, she and Buckingham teamed up for the 2017 collaborative project Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie, which was supported by a North American tour.
The Eagles – who joined forces with Fleetwood Mac and a few other classic acts in 2017 for The Classic West at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium and The Classic East at Citi Field in New York – added to those sharing their condolences with the following statement sent to Pollstar:
We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Christine McVie. Hers was a vibrant, soulful spirit, and her music was, and will remain, a gift to the world. We had the utmost admiration and respect for Christine. We send our heartfelt condolences to her family, her bandmates, and her legions of fans.