Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac has passed away at the age of 79. In a statement, her family said she passed away “peacefully” after a short illness yesterday morning. There’s no word on what that illness was, but she was in the company of loved ones.
While younger audiences might not know her, they do know the band – and the music? It’s ingrained in American culture. As for McVie, she was not only a founding member of the band, but she was a key contributor to the group's multi-platinum success.
McVie joined Fleetwood Mac as a permanent member in 1971 after marrying bass player John McVie, served as a principal songwriter, vocalist and keyboardist. Among the songs she’s best known for? "Say You Love Me," "Over My Head" and "You Make Loving Fun." As you might imagine, reactions are pouring in from the music world and beyond. Here’s a sampling:
- “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” Fleetwood Mac says in a statement. “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.”
- Taking to her socials, bandmate Stevie Nicks posted an image of a handwritten note and called McVie her "best friend in the whole world" since 1975. "A few hours ago," Nicks wrote. "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 be in London; I wanted to get to London—but we were 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." That song? The 2020 HAIM song, "Hallelujah."
- In a statement to “Variety,” the Eagles called her music "a gift to the world." “We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Christine McVie, the offer. “Hers was a vibrant, soulful spirit, and her music was, and will remain, a gift to the world. We had the utmost admiration and respect for Christine. We send our heartfelt condolences to her family, her bandmates, and her legions of fans.”
- Sheryl Crow called her an icon. “I am so sad to hear of Christine McVie going on to heaven,” she offered via Instagram. “The world feels weird without her here. What a legend and an icon and an amazing human being. RIP”
- Drive By Truckers offered, “Christine McVie had the most hits of anyone in Fleetwood Mac, yet was somehow the most underrated member. Never flashy, alway great. She was the glue that held all those crazy wonderful elements together. Her songs had a soulfulness unhampered by pretense. RIP.”
- Heart’s Ann Wilson posted a vintage photo of McVie with the caption, “Christine was a gem. Soulful, classy and a beautiful songwriter. ’Over my head’ was always my sultry, angelic favorite. Bon Voyage sweet soul!"
- Duran Duran took to Twitter to offer: “So so sad to hear about Christine McVie an artist I held dear and close to my heart. One of the greatest all time songwriters, singers, and band members, she radiated both purity and sass in equal measure, bringing light to the music of the 70s.”
- The rock band Garbage offered a simple statement: “Gutted to learn about the passing of Christine McVie. Just gutted. Songbird forever.” ‘Songbird’ being a reference of one of McVie’s songs.