Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie dies aged 79

Christine McVie was a resounding force behind one of the greatest rock bands of the last 50 years.

Christine McVie, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and longstanding member of London’s own Fleetwood Mac, died on November 30th following a short illness, she was 79 years old. 

A statement released on Facebook on behalf of her family read: “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 paid tribute to McVie in a statement on Twitter: “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 July 12th, 1943 in Bouth in the Lake District, McVie, originally known by her maiden name Christine Perfect, began her music career with the blues band Chicken Shack. She joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970, just over a year after marrying John McVie in 1968. Speaking to The Guardian earlier this year, McVie reflected on the band’s “pretty sensational” era with both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. “We had our fights here and there, but there was nothing like the music or the intensity onstage. We weren’t doing anything in Britain, so just decamped to America and fell into this huge musical odyssey.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie dies aged 79
Fleetwood Mac in 1977. From left to right: Mich Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

Nicks posted a handwritten note in honour of McVie with lyrics from HAIM’s track ‘Hallelujah’: “ 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.”

From the band’s most prolific album, 1977’s Rumours, McVie is credited as a writer for ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Songbird’, ‘The Chain’, ‘You Make Loving Fun’ and ‘Oh Daddy’. Other popular Fleetwood Mac tracks written by McVie include ‘Say You Love Me’, ‘Over My Head’ and ‘Hold Me’. Christine McVie also released three solo albums: Christine Perfect (1970), Christine McVie (1984), and In The Meantime (2004). Her second solo album featured the hits ‘Got A Hold On Me’ and ‘Love Will Show Us How’. 

McVie took a hiatus from Fleetwood Mac in 1998, wishing to spend more time relaxing away from the limelight in the English countryside, but by 2014 she had reunited with the band for a much anticipated tour, followed by an album with Buckingham called Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie.

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie dies aged 79
Fleetwood Mac performing in Sacramento, California in 2014

McVie’s death comes just two years after founding member Peter Green died at the age of 73. 

Tributes have already begun to pour in online from fans and people in the music industry. Mick Fleetwood posted his statement on Instagram: “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 “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 Memories abound.. they fly to me.”

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