Stevie Nicks And Christine McVie's Friendship Explained

The world of rock 'n' roll became a bit dimmer with the recent death of Christine McVie, who died at the age of 79 on November 30, 2022. She had a long and prolific career in music, releasing numerous solo albums and collaborations. However, she will always be remembered for her time with the legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac. As the keyboardist, co-singer, and co-songwriter, McVie's contributions to the group are massive, serving as the genius behind such hits as "Little Lies," "Everywhere," "Songbird," and others, according to BBC News.

Fleetwood Mac has always been known for the rollercoaster drama of its members' personal lives, and McVie was no exception. She married the band's bassist John McVie in 1970, only to get divorced in 1978 (per AllMusic), although they both continued to remain in the band. While McVie endured the changes that typified her life with Fleetwood Mac, one thing that remained constant was her unbreakable friendship with the band's other singer, Stevie Nicks.

Friends at first sight

Christine McVie was with Fleetwood Mac for some time before Stevie Nicks joined the band alongside her boyfriend at the time, Lindsey Buckingham. While this may cause some tension or rivalry for many other musicians, McVie and Nicks instantly became friends, as recounted in Far Out Magazine. The arrival of Buckingham and Nicks provided some element of lineup stability for the band, leading to its most commercially successful era. Though the internal drama arguably increased, it never got in the way of McVie and Nicks' foundational friendship.

Far Out Magazine points out the various differences between McVie and Nicks: There was a ten-year age gap between them, McVie was from the U.K. while Nicks was from the U.S., McVie is the more reserved of the two, while Nicks is more free-spirited. However, they developed a bond that was closer to kin than kith, far outlasting whatever emotional tumult the band was going through.

No rivalries in this friendship

Considering that Christine McVie was the only female singer in the band before Stevie Nicks' arrival, as well as one of the primary songwriters, it would be understandable if she felt a little threatened by a new creative force joining Fleetwood Mac. However, because the two talented women hit it off so early, there was no rivalry between them. McVie recounted to Rolling Stone the story of Buckingham and Nicks joining the band, saying that Mick Fleetwood told her, "'They have a girl involved here. You're gonna have to meet her and see if you like her.'" She went on to recount, "And we met and I instantly liked her. She and I are not competitive in any way at all. We're totally different, but totally sympathetic with each other."

The feeling was mutual because Nicks always appreciated how welcoming McVie was toward her. Nicks explained in the 1981 book "Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac: Interviews and Encounters": "Christine very willingly gave me the stage, which I thought was very cool for a woman to say: 'Oh, she's ... younger than me and I've worked for ten years on the road, killed myself, and here she is, our new frontwoman.'" There's no shortage of cutthroat personalities in the world of rock 'n' roll, which makes McVie and Nicks' friendship all the more special.

A shared sense of humor

If there's one universal value that can bring together even the most disparate people, it's humor. According to Christine McVie in an interview with The Guardian, Nicks' more whimsical traits were a big part of what helped them get along and overcome their contrasting personalities. She said, "It was critical that I got on with her because I'd never played with another girl. But I liked her instantly. She was funny and nice but also there was no competition. We were completely different on the stage to each other and we wrote differently too."

It was undoubtedly difficult at times for McVie and Nicks to be the only women in a band, particularly in a genre stereotypically dominated by men. But being able to laugh together only brought them closer to one another. Nicks recalled to Uncut that "We had to end up being close because otherwise it was just hang out with the guys all the time ... We're totally different, at complete opposite ends of the personality spectrum. The one thing we had in common, which bound us together, was a sense of humour through all the pain."

Christine McVie rejoins the band

Not long after Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Christine McVie left the band, a move that had been in the works for several years. She contributed to Fleetwood Mac's albums without touring to support them. She mostly stayed out of the limelight, releasing some music, but largely living a quiet life (per BBC News). However, that changed when she returned to Fleetwood Mac in 2014, describing to Rolling Stone her experience getting back with her old bandmate: "Oh, it's the most amazing thing for me. Just fantastic. It's almost like being in the middle of a soap opera again. It's phenomenal. These people are across the stage from me, and it's as if the years never existed. It's absolutely dumbfounding."

Considering how close McVie and Nicks were, it's no wonder that their friendship remained intact after McVie's hiatus from the band. In an interview with The Arts Desk, McVie said, "Stevie and I are really good friends, in fact I think we're better friends now than we were 16 years ago ... But with me in there, it gave Stevie the chance to get her breath back and not have this constant thing going on with Lindsey: her sister was back." McVie described her role in the band as a sort of peacekeeper, a much-needed presence in a well-known rock band for its internal drama and clashing egos.

Stevie Nicks pays tribute to her friend

Following McVie's death, several members of Fleetwood Mac publicly released statements. Lindsey Buckingham posted a tribute to his bandmate on Instagram, wherein he commented, "Not only were she and I part of the magical family of Fleetwood Mac, to me Christine was a musical comrade, a friend, a soul mate, a sister." Drummer Mick Fleetwood took to Twitter to say that "This is a day where my dear sweet Friend Christine McVie has taken to flight.. and left us earthbound folks to listen with bated breath to the sounds of that 'song bird.'"

However, the most touching tribute came from Stevie Nicks, who posted her thoughts on Twitter. Her post consisted of a handwritten note wherein she stated, "A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away. I didn't even know she was ill ... until late Saturday night ... I wanted to get to London — but we were told to wait." Nicks' post also included the lyrics from Haim's song, "Hallelujah," which follows someone as they deal with the loss of their friend; a fitting sendoff to one of rock's greatest women.