Farewell to an icon. Christine McVie, the longtime keyboardist and co-lead vocalist of Fleetwood Mac, has died. She was 79.
“On behalf of Christine McVie’s family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death,” her family said in a statement on Wednesday, November 30. “She passed away peacefully at 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.”
The remaining members of Fleetwood Mac released their own statement on McVie’s passing, saying: “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.”
The U.K. native joined the band in 1970 after marrying bassist John McVie two years earlier. The duo split in 1976, and their tumultuous breakup served as partial inspiration for the band’s classic 1977 album, Rumours.
Christine went on hiatus from Fleetwood Mac in 1998 after the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She later revealed that part of her reason for leaving the band was her fear of flying.
“It was a real phobia,” she told Rolling Stone in March 2014. “I also bought a house in England and decided, to a degree, I was really tired of the road. I wasn’t just burned out, but I was tired of traveling and living out of a suitcase. I’m quite a domestic person by nature and the nomad thing had got a bit stale on me, really.”
She officially rejoined Fleetwood Mac in January 2014 and traveled with the band through 2015 for their On With the Show tour. The tour reunited the group’s most famous lineup: Christine, John, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
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In 2017, Christine teamed up with Buckingham, 73, for a joint album and subsequent tour. “I’m a keyboard player, he’s a guitar player, so between the two of us we seem to have this certain knack of understanding what the other is gonna do,” the Grammy winner told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay in October 2017. “So, we play around each other. And therefore we can be point creative, and that’s always been the case between Lindsey and I.”
In addition to recording 14 albums with Fleetwood Mac, Christine released three solo albums over the course of her career. She also played on two LPs released by the band Chicken Shack, which she was in before she joined Fleetwood Mac. In 2014, she received a lifetime achievement award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.