Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac Singer-Songwriter, Dies At Age 79

The classic rock singer's family announced that she passed away at the hospital 'following a short illness' in a statement.

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Christine McVie died at age 79 on Wednesday, November 30. The Fleetwood Mac singer and keyboardist shared the sad news of her passing after she was hospitalized for an undisclosed illness in a statement. She was with her family when she died. “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,” the family said in a statement on her Instagram.

Christine was an early member of the iconic classic rock group Fleetwood Mac. The group also released a statement mourning the singer’s passing on Facebook. Christine’s co-lead vocalist in the band Stevie Nicks, as well as founding drummer Mick Fleetwood also shared the statement on their Instagrams. “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,” the band said. “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 Christine Perfect in Lancashire, England in 1943, Christine began her career in music in the 1960s, starting with a band called Chicken Shack. She was recruited to play keyboards on Fleetwood Mac’s sophomore album Mr. Wonderful, released in 1968. The following year, she married the band’s bassist John McVie. She went on to release a self-titled solo album in 1970, before joining the group as a full-time member, with her first album being 1970’s Kiln House.

Christine appears at a concert in 2014. (Broadimage/Shutterstock)

Fleetwood Mac reached a new level of success in 1975, moving to the United States and recruiting Stevie and her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham. The band released their self-titled record in 1975, which included Christine’s hit “Over My Head.” Their landmark record Rumours followed in 1977, which included three major hits that featured the singer’s contributions: “Don’t Stop”, “You Make Loving Fun” and “Songbird,” which was a signature closing song for the band’s concerts. Fleetwood Mac are widely regarded as one of the best rock acts of the 70s and many of Christine’s songs are the band’s most popular. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Despite Rumours’ success, it was a tumultuous time for the band. Christine and John divorced in 1976, before the record was released. Stevie and Lindsey also ended their relationship around the same time. Despite their divorce, Christine and John both remained consistent members of the group until the singer decided to go on a hiatus in 1998. Christine did get married to Portuguese songwriter and keyboard player Eddie Quintela in 1986. The pair divorced in 2003.

Christine poses for a photo with the band at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. (Gregory Pace/Shutterstock)

After Rumours launched the band into a new level of fame, Christine continued to contribute to Fleetwood Mac albums through the end of the 70s and start of the 80s. She did release her second solo album, titled Christine McVie in 1984. In 1998, the band’s classic lineup split up, and Christine rarely made public appearances, although she did release another solo record in 2004. The classic Fleetwood Mac lineup reunited in 2014, and Christine released a collaborative album with Lindsey in 2017.

 

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