Christine McVie Dies: Fleetwood Mac Singer-Songwriter & Pianist Was 79

Christine McVie in 1969
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Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie has died at the age of 79. She served as the iconic rock band’s pianist and one of its singer-songwriters for decades and was the lead singer on some of the band’s most famous songs.

McVie was part of Fleetwood Mac with Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Mick Fleetwood, contributing to their legendary album Rumors, one of the most successful rock albums of all time. Per a statement from her family, McVie died on November 30 following a short illness.

The statement said: “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 performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018 in New York City

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Fleetwood Mac also released a statement, which reads: “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.”

On Instagram, Nicks paid tribute to her beloved friend, sharing a song written by Haim: “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 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…

“I had a best friend

But she has come to pass

One I wish I could see now

You always remind me

that memories will last

These arms reach out

You were there to protect me

like a shield

Long hair running with me

through the field….

Everywhere,

You’ve been with me all along

Why me?

How’d I get this hallelujah

Why me?

How’d I get this hallelujah –

Why me?

How’d I get this hallelujah

See you on the other sides

~♡ My Love?

Don’t forget me

Always,

Stevie”

McVie (originally known by her maiden name, Christine Perfect) came to Fleetwood Mac via her husband, John McVie, an original member with Peter Green and Fleetwood. The Fleetwood Mac band name was created by Green out of a combination of Fleetwood and McVie’s surnames. McVie got her start in the British blues-rock band Chicken Shack, which hit No. 14 on the U.K. charts with 1969’s “I’d Rather Go Blind,” a cover of the Etta James song. British weekly Melody Maker named her the best female vocalist for 1969-1970.

The English musician joined her husband in Fleetwood Mac as a featured artist on the albums Mr. Wonderful (1968) and Then Play On (1969), and then became a permanent member in 1971 after guitarist Green’s exit. It wasn’t until Nicks and Buckingham joined the band in 1974 that the group shot to superstardom. McVie wrote Fleetwood Mac’s second-biggest hit, “Don’t Stop,” on which she shared vocal duties with Buckingham.

She was also lead singer and songwriter on “You Make Loving Fun,” “Everywhere,” “Little Lies,” “Songbird,” “Love In Store,” “Think About Me,” “Over My Head,” “Hold Me,” “Say You Love Me,” “Mystified,” and more. “Little Lies” was co-written by McVie’s second husband, Eddy Quintela (they divorced in 2003). “You Make Loving Fun” was famously inspired by her affair with Fleetwood Mac’s lighting director, Curry Grant.