Written in the Stars

Christine McVie, legendary member of Fleetwood Mac, died on Wednesday at the age of 79.


"Fleetwood Mac Reunited" by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Though Fleetwood Mac formed in 1967, it was not until Christine McVie (top), Stevie Nicks, and Lindsay Buckingham joined in the 1970s that the band became an international sensation.

Ava DiGiacomo, Staff Writer

On November 30th, Christine McVie, the beloved member of the legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac, passed away. 

McVie was an English musician, singer, and songwriter. While she is most famous for her success with Fleetwood Mac, she dabbled in a multitude of genres, including blues, soft rock, and pop rock. 

Growing up in a loving home near Birmingham, England, McVie was surrounded by art forms and music from a young age. Her father, Cyril Percy Absell Perfect, was a concert violinist along with a music professor at St. Peter’s College of Education, and her mother, Beatrice Edith Maud (Reece) Perfect,  was a psychic and faith healer. Her Grandpa was an organist and played a large role in fostering McVie’s love for music. 

Starting classical training at just 11 years old, McVie quickly realized that her passion lay in rock and roll. Taking inspiration from The Everly Brothers and a rock and roll pioneer Fats Domino, she directed her focus to a new realm of music. 

McVie imagined her future proceeding in a much different direction than mainstream music. She studied art at Moseley School of Art in Birmingham and hoped to eventually be an art teacher. But her fate was unavoidable. Her two friends, Stan Webb and Andy Silvester, offered the perfect transition out of the art studio and onto the stage. McVie joined the band, called Sounds of Blue, but by the time she graduated, the band broke up.

But her love for music remained very much alive. 

The next stop on her path to Fleetwood Mac was another bluesy band called Chicken Shack, started by her former bandmates. McVie sent a letter asking to join. She recorded two albums with Chicken Shack — best known for their hit cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” with McVie on lead vocals. In both 1969 and 1970, McVie won a Melody Maker award for her success with Chicken Shack. 

A fan of Fleetwood Mac, which had formed in England in 1967, McVie often crossed paths with the band through her time with Chicken Shack. She was asked to help play piano on the band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful. After the release of her solo album, Christine Perfect (her maiden name), she started dating, and eventually married, Fleetwood Mac’s famous bassist, John McVie. 

She joined this show-stopping group in 1970, taking the open spot left by Peter Green.  McVie became a core member of the group, starring on the keyboard along with providing lead vocals alongside her best friend, Stevie Nicks. 

McVie brought undeniable change to Fleetwood Mac and the course of rock and roll. She wrote some of the most timeless classics such as “Songbird,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Say You Love Me,” “Everywhere,” and “Little Lies.” Her lyricism consisted of rock, smooth blues, yearning lullabies, heart-shattering ballads, and hippie-laced love songs.

McVie’s contributions to the band’s most successful album, Rumours, were profound. Rumours is commonly regarded as one of the most influential rock albums to date. Its heart-wrenching lyrics paired with its beautiful poise made it perfectly suited for on-air success in the 70s as well as a timeless classic that is still enjoyed by millions today. 

McVie, known for her warm, bluesy voice laced with elements of rock and roll, swayed crowds with her touching lyrics, touching generations of music fans. Her absence will undoubtedly be felt around the world. While McVie may have passed away, her influence on lyricism, production, and style will forever remain a timeless element of music history.