Christine McVie, the singer-songwriter behind some of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, passed away on Wednesday after a brief illness, according to a statement posted on her verified Instagram account by her family.
She was 79 years old.
“On behalf of the family of Christine McVie, we regret to inform you of Christine’s passing. Following a brief illness, she passed away peacefully at the hospital this morning, November 30, 2022,” the statement reads. “She was surrounded by her family.”
The statement continued, “We respectfully request that you respect the family’s privacy during this extremely difficult time, and we ask that everyone keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an extraordinary human being and universally adored musician.”
In a statement, Fleetwood Mac paid tribute to McVie, which was also posted on her account.
“There are no words to express our sorrow over Christine McVie’s passing,” the band’s statement read. “She was truly unique, special, and extraordinarily talented. She was the best musician a band could have and the best friend a person could have.”
McVie was a classically trained musician who performed as Christine Perfect with the British band Chicken Shack in the late 1960s. She was born in Greenodd, United Kingdom, to a father who was a music teacher.
She joined Fleetwood Mac after marrying the band’s bassist, John McVie, during guitarist and band founder Peter Green’s tenure as leader.
She told The Guardian in June 2022, “Chicken Shack used to open for Fleetwood Mac.” “I met John, fell in love with him, and the experience was sensational and thrilling. Fleetwood Mac were incredible and hilarious.”
Before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band in 1974, the group went through a series of personnel shifts and experienced a meteoric rise to fame.
McVie composed and/or performed on a number of their hits, including “Don’t Stop,” “Over My Head,” “You Make Loving Fun,” and “Say You Love Me.”
Fleetwood Mac experienced some instability as a result of the dissolution of the McVies’ marriage and the relationship between Buckingham and Nicks.
Buckingham decided to leave the band and pursue a solo career in 1987, followed by Nicks in 1990.
McVie has also released a compilation of her solo work titled “Songbird (A Solo Collection)” earlier this year.
Nevertheless, despite the band’s interpersonal difficulties, their musical chemistry was undeniable, and they eventually reunited.
“I simply desired to immerse myself in the English countryside and avoid traveling on the road. I loved being able to walk the streets of Kent without anyone knowing who I was. Then, naturally, I began to miss it,” McVie told The Guardian regarding her 16-year absence from Fleetwood Mac. “I called Mick and inquired, ‘How would you feel if I rejoined the band?’ He contacted everyone, we held a band meeting over the phone, and they all yelled, “Come back!” I felt regenerated and I felt like writing again.”
1998 marked Fleetwood Mac’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A tribute to a “sweet soul”
On Wednesday, McVie tributes flooded social media platforms.
“We were so fortunate to have spent our lives with her,” Fleetwood Mac said in a statement. “Both individually and collectively, we held Christine in high regard and are grateful for the incredible memories we have of her. She will be profoundly missed.”
Nicks, meanwhile, posted a handwritten letter to her bandmate alongside a photo of herself and McVie on Instagram. “I was informed a few hours ago that my best friend in the entire world since January 1, 1975, had passed away. I was unaware of her illness until late Saturday night.”
Nicks stated that since learning of McVie’s illness, the folk ballad “Hallelujah” by Haim, which is about loss and friendship, has been “swirling around” in her head. “I thought I might have the opportunity to sing it to her, so I’m doing so now.”
Ann Wilson of the band Heart said in a statement to CNN, “Christine was a jewel. Soulful, refined, and a lovely songwriter. Over My Head has always been my favorite sultry and angelic song. Bon Voyage sweet soul!”
On Twitter, the rock band Garbage paid tribute, writing, “Heartbroken to learn of Christine McVie’s passing. Simply gutted. Songbird forever.”
The Eagles posted on Facebook that they were “deeply saddened” by the news of McVie’s death, describing her as a “vibrant, soulful spirit” whose music was “a gift to the world.”
Their statement read, “We had the utmost admiration and respect for Christine.” We extend our deepest condolences to her family, bandmates, and legion of devoted fans.