Fleetwood Mac’s beloved ‘songbird’, co-lead vocalist and songwriter, Christine McVie, has died aged 79 following a ‘short illness’, her family revealed.
McVie’s family said in a statement she was ‘a revered musician who was loved universally’ and was surrounded by loved ones when she died.
‘She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 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.’
Her former bandmates said tonight they’re devastated by the loss, describing her as ‘the best friend anyone could have in their life’.
Christine McVie, the co-lead vocalist and keyboardist of Fleetwood Mac, has died aged 79 following a ‘short illness’, her family have revealed
Her former bandmates said tonight they’re devastated by the loss, describing her as ‘the best friend anyone could have in their life’. (Pictured left to right, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and Lindsey Buckingham)
McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971 as a permanent member, and the band achieved even greater popularity with the addition of Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the mid-1970s
‘She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure… She was the best musician anyone could have in their band. 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 initial statement to her own Twitter account this evening before sharing a more personal tribute to McVie.
In her second tribute, Nicks said she only learned her ‘best friend’ was sick on Saturday evening.
She wanted to rush to London to be by her side, but was told to wait and monitor her health from afar.
‘A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since that first day in 1975 had passed away. I didn’t even know she was ill until Saturday night.
‘I wanted to get to London – but we were told to wait… Since Saturday, one song has been swirling in my head over and over, I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her, and I’m singing it to her now.
‘See you on the other side, my love.’
The British-American rock band was one of the most successful groups of all time, selling 100 million records globally.
McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, and the band achieved even greater popularity with the addition of Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the mid-1970s.
McVie opened up earlier this year about her ‘thrilling’ years in the band
She had a successful solo career and returned to the stage alongside her former bandmates in 2013 after a long 15-year hiatus
She wrote the hits Don’t Stop, Say You Love Me, You Make Loving Fun, Songbird, Little Lies and Hold Me.
Despite her and bassist John’s divorce in 1976, she continued to make music for the band until retiring in 1998 after the death of her father.
She had a successful solo career and returned to the stage alongside her former bandmates in 2013 after a long 15-year hiatus.
Looking back on that time away from the stage, McVie said earlier this year she needed to embrace the English countryside and take a step back from the constant chaos of being on the road.
But she started to get the itch to perform again and reached out to Mick Fleetwood to propose a potential reunion.
The group performed to rapturous applause in London’s 02 arena in September 2013 and it was officially announced a short time later that McVie had rejoined the band.
Just two weeks ago, McVie shared her excitement at being nominated for a Grammy award for her solo music compilation, Songbird. The award will be announced on February 5, 2023.
Stevie Nicks shared a heartbroken statement to her own Twitter account this evening. Pictured: McVie and Nicks together in 1987
McVie opened up earlier this year about her ‘thrilling’ years in the band in an interview with The Guardian.
‘I always took good care of myself,’ she said. ‘My drug of choice was cocaine and champagne. I didn’t use any other drugs at all. It’s easy for me to say, but I think it made me perform better.
‘Stevie was the Welsh witch. I was mother nature. Mick was the raving lunatic. Everyone was very different, but we all got on, for the most part. In those days it was just all good clean fun.’
Tributes are now pouring in for McVie and her family.
American rock band Garbage said in a statement: ‘Gutted to learn about the passing of Christine McVie. Just gutted. Songbird forever.’
Perez Hilton said: ‘I am going to love my ears with Christine McVie songs today. She was not just a gift to Fleetwood Mac but also the world! Her music will last forever! She was so gifted! A true great! Thank you for the magic!’
After a 15-year hiatus, she started to get the itch to perform again and reached out to Mick Fleetwood to propose a potential reunion
Podcaster Bill Simmons said: ‘RIP Christine McVie – elegant songwriter, unforgettable voice, and a crucial member of one of my favorite bands ever. Songbird stands alone – there’s no other song like it. I really liked her. So much drama and dysfunction in that band and she always levitated above it.’
American author John Scalzi described McVie as her band’s ‘secret weapon’ and ‘a songwriter who, in and out of the band, made pop hits seem effortless’.
‘RIP, you songbird. You made loving fun.’
McVie’s local MP, Tim Farron, also shared a statement in the wake of her tragic death, saying Cumbria had ‘always been so proud of her’.
‘Devastated that Bouth’s very own Christine McVie has passed away. What a wonderful legacy she leaves, with a back catalogue of the finest music. In Cumbria we have always been so proud of her. Much love and sincere sympathy to Christine’s family and friends.’
Former professional basketball player Rex Chapman shared a video compilation of McVie alongside her famous quote: ‘Although it is said that we fought a lot, we actually did spend a lot of our time laughing. There weren’t that many fights.’
‘Rest in peace,’ he added.
Fleetwood Mac described McVie as as ‘the best friend anyone could have in their life’