Christine McVie, the soulful British musician whose brilliant and moving contralto helped define classics like You Make Loving Fun, Everywhere, Don't Stop and Songbird, died Wednesday at the age of 79 after suffering a "short illness," her family announced in a statement. "There are no words to describe our sadness at the death of Christine McVie," the band lamented this Wednesday after announcing on social networks the death of the vocalist and keyboardist, composer of hits like Little Lies. "She was truly unique, special and talented beyond measure," the statement read.
McVie was a constant presence, quite a character in a band known for its frequent line-up changes and volatile personalities, particularly singer-songwriters Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. During their most successful years, from 1975 to 1980, Fleetwood Mac sold tens of millions of records and was a continuous source of fascination for fans, turning their personal battles into compelling, melodic songs. “We had our fights here and there,” McVie said of that time, “but there was nothing like the music or the intensity onstage.”
Born Christine Perfect, she changed her last name after marrying bassist John McVie in 1968, and a year later joined the band co-founded by her husband and drummer Mick Fleetwood.
The couple's breakup in 1976, along with the separation of Nicks and Buckingham, was documented in Rumors (1977), one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album, which included hits like Second Hand News or You Make Loving Fun, sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. “We were having a great time and we thought it was amazing that we were writing those songs,” McVie said.
After leaving the band in 1998, he returned in 2014 to tour with the most recognizable lineup and release an album with Lindsey Buckingham in 2017. This same 2022 she published the solo compilation Songbird, which includes several unpublished songs by the vocalist.
His death comes two years after the band's co-founder, Peter Green, passed away at the age of 73.
Fleetwood Mac became one of the best known rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s consisting of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.