Christine McVie, a singer and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac, died at age 79.

, the British-born Fleetwood Mac vocalist, songwriter, and keyboardist whose cool, soulful contralto helped define classics such as “You Make Loving Fun,” “Everywhere,” and “Don’t Stop,” passed away on Wednesday at the age of 79.

Her passing was announced via the band’s social media channels. No cause of death or other details were immediately provided, but a family statement said she “passed away peacefully at the hospital this morning” after a “short illness” with her family present.

A portion of the band’s statement reads, “She was truly one-of-a-kind, unique, and incredibly talented.”

McVie was a consistent presence and personality in a band known for its frequent lineup changes and volatile personalities, including -songwriters Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

Fleetwood Mac began in the 1960s as a London blues band and evolved into one of the most influential producers of 1970s California pop-rock, with the combined talents of McVie, Nicks, and Buckingham anchored by the rhythm section of founder Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass.

From 1975 to 1980, the band’s commercial heyday, it sold tens of millions of records and was a constant source of fascination for its fans as it transformed personal struggles into melodic, compelling songs. McVie had been married to John McVie, and their divorce, along with those of Nicks and Buckingham, was documented on the 1977 album “Rumours,” one of the best-selling records of all time.

1998 marked Fleetwood Mac’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nicks’s “Dreams,” Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way,” and McVie’s “Little Lies” were among the many other hit singles released by the group. One of McVie’s most cherished compositions, the reflective ballad “Songbird,” has been covered by Willie Nelson, among others.

McVie was born Christine Perfect in Bouth, Lancashire. As a child, she learned to play the piano, but when she heard early rock records by Fats Domino and others, she stopped.

She befriended various members of Britain’s emerging blues scene while attending the Moseley School of Art and, in her twenties, joined the band Chicken Shack as a singer and pianist. Among the rival bands she admired was Fleetwood Mac, which featured blues guitarist Peter Green and the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie. By 1970, she was a member of the band and was married to John McVie.

Few bands have been as successful against such long odds as Fleetwood Mac. Green was one of the many musicians who left the band, and at various points Fleetwood Mac appeared to be on the verge of disbanding or fading away. Recently, Buckingham was removed from the tour and replaced by Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.

McVie herself left for years, returning permanently in 2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: