Christine McVie, a singer-songwriter-keyboardist who spent a long time in the London-bred band Fleetwood Mac before becoming a key contributor to the group's multi-platinum success in the late 1970s, died on Wednesday following a brief illness. She was 79 years old.
According to Variety, Her family released a statement, saying: "On behalf of Christine McVie's family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine's death. She passed away peacefully at the hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness. She was in the company of her family. 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. RIP Christine McVie."
Variety, which is a US-based entertainment media house, also quoted Fleetwood Mac's official statement which read, "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. 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. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed."
Christine Perfect, her maiden name, initially appeared on the charts as a member of the British blues-rock combo Chicken Shack, where she sang the lead vocals on the band's 1969 adaptation of American vocalist Etta James' 1967 R&B smash "I'd Rather Go Blind." In 1969-70, she was selected best female vocalist by the British monthly Melody Maker.
She had married John McVie, bassist for the English blues-rock band Fleetwood Mac, which was then led by guitarist and founder Peter Green. She appeared on the band's sophomore album "Mr Wonderful" (1968), as well as on Green's final album with the group he created, "Then Play On" (1969).
According to Variety, Christine McVie became a permanent member of Fleetwood Mac in 1971, following the exits of guitarist-singer-songwriters Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan and the ascension of American singer-songwriter-guitarist Bob Welch.
She grew as an artistic force in the band as a songwriter and lead vocalist over the course of five 1971-74 LPs, but the band was mostly seen as a journeyman act, forgotten in its home country and modestly popular in the United States (where it would eventually settle in the late '70s).
However, Fleetwood Mac experienced a transition and became a pop music behemoth after the entry of the American combo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in the band on New Year's Eve 1974. McVie, a singer-songwriter-keyboardist, played a vital role in the band's multi-platinum efforts, balancing the contributions of her younger new comrades with her warmth and gravitas.
As "Fleetwood Mac" rose to the top of the charts, the band experienced all of the excesses and tensions that sudden fame, great wealth, enormous industry leverage, and skyrocketing label expectations can bring to a rock band, and the completion of the album's immensely popular successor "Rumours" (1977) appears miraculous in retrospect, as per Variety.
Buckingham and Nicks' personal relationship and the McVies' marriage both disintegrated in the run-up to the release of "Rumours," the latter due to Christine's affair with the group's lighting director, but the group channelled the tension into a universally embraced song cycle about romantic dissolution. The album sold more than 19 million copies in the United States, with Christine McVie responsible for the collection's two brightest successes, "Don't Stop" (No. 3) and "You Make Loving Fun" (No. 4). (No. 9). In 1978, "Rumours" won a Grammy for album of the year.
With the exits of Buckingham and Nicks for solo careers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Fleetwood Mac experienced yet another period of turbulence. The '70s lineup reformed at the request of Bill Clinton, who used "Don't Stop" as the theme song of his 1992 presidential campaign, to perform the song at Clinton's 1993 inaugural ball.
McVie, however, opted out of a 1994 tour, and after the failed 1995 studio album "Time" and the quintuple-platinum 1997 live set "The Dance," she announced her departure from the band, citing an increasing phobia of flying, as per Variety.
Her departure, however, proved to be just a lengthy 18-year retreat, as she returned to Fleetwood Mac's recording and touring lineup in early 2014, which by that time also included both Buckingham and Nicks.
According to Variety, between her divorce from McVie in 1976 and her marriage to Quintela in 1986, she was engaged to Beach Boys drummer-songwriter-vocalist Dennis Wilson for three years. (ANI)