From 1967 until today, Fleetwood Mac has had many changes in its line-up. It’s a band that has influenced music in such a great way, and one constant in the band, through its whirlwind career, has been Christine McVie, the architect behind many of the band’s most popular hits, such as ‘Songbird’, ‘Everywhere’, and ‘Little Lies’. Sadly, however, on November 30 2022, it was announced that McVie had passed away at the age of 79.
The passing of McVie was announced on the band’s social media accounts, with a statement reading:
McVie’s bandmates similarly posted about the tragic news on their own social media accounts, with Stevie Nicks sharing a handwritten note dedicated to her “best friend in the whole world”.
Christine McVie’s career was spent almost entirely following her musical talent wherever it took her, across the Atlantic and back again. She was born Christine Perfect in Bouth, Lancashire, to a musical family; her father was a concert violinist and music lecturer, and her grandfather was an organist at Westminster Abbey. Having such a musical upbringing, she seemed destined for a career in music, joining her first band Chicken Shack in 1967. Three years later, after marrying bassist John McVie, she joined the band that would make her famous: Fleetwood Mac.
McVie became an integral part of one of the most influential bands in music, as one of its lead vocalists and its lead keyboardist. With Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining the band in 1974, Fleetwood Mac released its hit self-titled album in 1975, with which McVie scored two Billboard top-20 songs. Later, with the legendary Rumours, came hits such as ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Songbird’, but for many Fleetwood Mac fans her most memorable work was on the band’s 1987 album Tango in the Night. Here, she penned fan favourites including ‘Everywhere’, the band’s third highest charting song in the UK ever, and ‘Little Lies’.
Following 1997’s The Dance, McVie stepped away from the band and returned to England. During her time away, she was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors’ Gold Badge of Merit for her work with Fleetwood Mac and her critically acclaimed solo albums. To fans’ delight, she formally re-joined Fleetwood Mac in 2014 and remained a valued member until her tragic death this year.
McVie’s impact cannot be understated. Musicians and musical acts the world over cite the band she was such an integral part of as an influence and, just this year, McVie had released an album named Songbird (A Solo Collection), celebrating the decades she has spent in the music industry. The album’s only feature from Fleetwood Mac is the title track ‘Songbird’, with the rest of the album being comprised of her, largely under appreciated, solo work. It’s an essential album for any fan of the band interested in McVie’s catalogue or for fans of McVie’s solo work.
One only needs to log on to any social media site to see the impact McVie had on her fans, with thousands of tweets and Instagram posts joining the memorial messages of her musical contemporaries, such as Neil Finn, Sheryl Crow and Haim. Acts like McVie are a rarity, as so much of her career was dedicated to her music and to the band which made her a household name. Her earnest love for music is perhaps what made McVie as beloved as she is and a true icon in music. The work McVie has done with Fleetwood Mac will live on in fans’ hearts forever.
For more on Christine McVie, check out Fleetwood Mac’s website here and listen to Christine McVie’s 2022 album Songbird (A Solo Collection) below: