Christine McVie, the singer-songwriter behind some of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, died Wednesday after a brief illness, according to a statement posted by her family on her verified Instagram account.
She was 79 years old.
“On behalf of the family of Christine McVie, it is with a heavy heart that we inform you of Christine’s death. He passed away in hospital this morning, Wednesday, 30 November 2022, after a brief illness. “She was in the company of her family.”
The statement went on to read: “We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy during this very painful time, and we would ask everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and respected musician who was loved universally.
Fleetwood Mac paid tribute to McVie in a statement, which was also posted on their account.
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” the band said in a statement. “She was truly one of a kind, special and talented beyond measure. She was the best musician his band could have had and the best friend he could have had in his life.
Born in Greenwood in the United Kingdom to a music teacher father, McVie was a classically trained musician who performed under the stage name Christine Perfect with the British band Chicken Shack in the late 1960s.
She joined Fleetwood Mac after marrying their bass guitarist, John McVie, at a time when the band was being led by guitarist and founder Peter Green.
“Would open up for a chicken shack [Fleetwood Mac], ” she told The Guardian in June 2022. “I got to know John, fell in love with him and it was just sensational and exciting. Fleetwood Mac was brilliant and really funny.
The group went through several line-up changes before the addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in 1974, and the band achieved super stardom.
McVie wrote and/or sang on several hits, including “Don’t Stop,” “Over My Head,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Say You Love Me.”
Fleetwood went through some instability with both the end of the marriage to Mac McViece, as well as the personal relationships of Buckingham and Nix.
Buckingham opted to go solo after leaving the band in 1987, followed by Nicks in 1990.
McVie also went solo and released a compilation of her solo work earlier this year titled “Songbird (A Solo Collection)”.
But despite the band’s mutual struggles, their musical chemistry was undeniable and they eventually reunited.
“I just wanted to live in the English countryside and not roam the streets. I moved to Kent, and I loved walking the streets, no one knew who I was. Then of course I started missing it,” McVie told The Guardian about his 16-year hiatus from Fleetwood Mac. “I called Mick and asked: ‘How would you feel about me coming back in the band?’ He kept in touch with everyone and we had a band meeting on the phone and they all went: ‘Come back!!’ I felt revived and felt like writing again.
Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Tributes poured in for McVey on social media on Wednesday.
“We were so lucky to have had a lifetime with her,” Fleetwood Mac said in a statement. “Individually and together, we deeply cherish Christine and are grateful for the wonderful memories we have. She will be greatly missed.
Meanwhile, Nick shared a handwritten letter to his bandmate on Instagram, along with a photo of himself with McVie. “A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975 has passed away. I didn’t even get to know that he was ill till late Saturday night…’
Nick said that since learning of McVie’s illness, Haim’s song “Hallelujah”, a folk song about friendship and loss, has been “whirling” in his head. “I thought maybe I could get to sing this song for him, and so, now I’m singing it for him.”
Ann Wilson of the band Heart told CNN in a statement, “Christine was a gem. Soulful, classy and a beautiful songwriter. ‘Over My Head’ was always my sultry, divine favorite. Bon voyage sweet soul!”
On Twitter, rock band Garbage paid tribute, writing: “Devastated to learn of the passing of Christine McVie. Just shattered. Songbird forever.
The Eagles wrote on Facebook that the band was “deeply saddened” by the news of McVie’s passing, calling him a “lively, passionate spirit” and his music “a gift to the world”.
Their statement read, “We had the utmost admiration and respect for Christine.” “We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, his bandmates and his legions of fans.”