Christine McVie, singer and keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac, has died aged 79. News of the musician’s death was shared in a Facebook post, which says that she passed peacefully and surrounded by her family at hospital on Wednesday, November 30, following a short illness.
“We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this extremely painful time,” the statement continues. “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.”
Born Christine Perfect, McVie performed as a keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac’s second studio album and officially joined the band in 1970, following her marriage to bassist John McVie. The band’s bestselling 1977 album Rumours – which partly documented the breakup of Christine and John McVie, alongside the split of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham – included four tracks written solely by McVie, as well as co-writing credits such as “The Chain”.
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” reads a tribute from the band. “She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure. She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life. We were so lucky to have a life with her.”
Stevie Nicks herself also shared a handwritten note in memory of McVie. “A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away,” the letter reads. “I didn’t even know she was ill... until late Saturday night.”
Nicks goes on to say that she wanted to get to London, but was told to wait. “So, since Saturday, one song has been swirling around in my head, over and over and over. I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her, and so, I’m singing it to her now.” The singer then shared the lyrics to HAIM’s “Hallelujah”.
HAIM themselves have shared a tribute to McVie on Instagram, saying that the “sisterhood” between Christine and Stevie was vital to them growing up. Other bands and musicians paying respects include Harry Styles, The Doors, Questlove, and many more. Mick Fleetwood also shared a statement on Twitter, referencing one of the most famous songs McVie wrote, “Songbird”.
“This is a day where my dear sweet friend Christine McVie has taken to flight,” Fleetwood’s statement reads, “and left us earthbound folks to listen with bated breath to the sounds of that ‘song bird’.”