Christine McVie, the singer-songwriter and keyboardist who became the biggest hitmaker for Fleetwood Mac, one of the world's most popular music bands, died Wednesday. She was 79 years old.
your familyAnnouncedhis death on Facebook. The statement said she died at a hospital, but did not specify the place or cause of death. In June, Mrs. McViecountedRolling Stone that she is "in pretty poor health" and has a bad back.
McVie's commercial powerhouse, which peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, was highlighted in Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits anthology, released in 1988, which sold more than eight million copies: she wrote or co-authored the half of his 16 titles. Her tally was double that of the second most prolific member of the band's singer-songwriter trio, Stevie Nicks. (The third, Lindsey Buckingham, scored three major Billboard chart hits with this collection.)
The most popular songs that Ms. McVie wrote are upbeat rhythms and upbeat melodies, numbers like"Tell me you Love Me"(which reached the Billboard top 10)",You love fun"(you just broke it),"Abrazam"(No. 4) and"Do not stop"(their biggest hit, which charted at #3). But she was also happy to carry on with graceful ballads."Upon my head"(No. 20) and"Little Lies"(which made it into the publication's top five in 1987).
All of these songs had crisp, easy-singing melodies with soulful, bluesy undertones at their core. His compositions had a simplicity that reflected his construction. "I don't fight my songs," Mrs. McVie (pronounced mc-VEE) told Rolling Stone in 1977. "I'll write them quickly."
In just half an hour he wrote one of the band's most popular songs,"Singvogel",a sensitive ballad that has served as the band's final encore in concert for years. In 2019, bandleader Mick Fleetwood told the New Musical Express that "Songbird" was the song he wanted to play at his funeral "to make me nervous."
Mrs. McVie's letters often captured the most heady aspects of the novel. "I'm definitely not a pessimist," she told Bob Brunning, author of the 2004 book The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumors and Lies. "I'm basically a love songwriter."
At the same time, her words explained the desire and disappointment that can lurk beneath an exciting surface. "I'm good at pathos," she told Mojo magazine in 2017. "I write a lot about romantic despair, but with a positive twist."
Ms. McVie's voice also conveyed a variety of sentiments. Her soulful contralto could sound alternately maternally wise and sexually alive. Her golden hue had the heady effect of a bourbon with a rich aroma and a smooth finish. She found a graceful place in harmony with the voices of Mrs. Nicks and Mr. Buckingham, together forming a distinctive Fleetwood Mac sound.
"It was that chemistry," he told Mojo. “The two of them sang in perfect three-way harmony. I just remember thinking, 'This is it!'"
A solid instrumentalist, Ms. McVie played a variety of keyboards, often borrowing the soulful tone of a Hammond B3 organ and the formality of a Yamaha grand piano.
He has earned five gold, one platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums with Fleetwood Mac. The band's biggest hit, "Rumours," released in 1977, was one of the most powerful climbers in pop history: it was awarded a double diamond, which translates into sales of more than 20 million copies.
In 1998, Ms. McVie has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame along with various Fleetwood Mac lineups, reflecting the frequent (and dramatic) personnel changes the band has seen throughout its history. labyrinthine history. Lady. McVie has performed in incarnations dating back to 1971, but has also had uncredited roles as keyboardist and backing vocalist since the band's second album, released in 1968. Before joining Fleetwood Mac, he had a UK No. 14 hit. with the band. she blues Chicken Shack in an Etta James version."I'd Rather Be Blind"for which she sang.
Christine Anne Perfect was born on July 12, 1943 in the English Lake District to Cyril Perfect, a classical violinist and university music professor, and Beatrice (Reece) Perfect, a medium.
Her father encouraged her to take classical piano lessons when she was 11 years old. Four years later, her approach changed radically when she came across some sheet music for Fats Domino songs. She at the time she told Rolling Stone in 1984: "It was goodbye Chopin."
"I started playing boogie bass," he told Mojo. "The blues got me. Even today, the songs I write still use that left hand. It's rooted in the blues."
Ms. McVie studied sculpture at Birmingham Art College and for a time considered becoming an art teacher. At the same time, she played as a duo for a short time.spencer davis, who later rose to fame in the Spencer Davis Group along with teen Steve Winwood. He helped form a band called Shades of Blue with several future Chicken Shack members.
After graduating from university in 1966, McVie moved to London and became a department store window display. A year later, she was invited to join the already formed Chicken Shack as a keyboardist and occasional vocalist. She wrote two songs for the band's debut album, 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve.
She was voted best singer twice in a Melody Maker readers' poll, but left the band in 1969 after marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, who graduated in 1967 and had already recorded three albums. In the same year she recorded a solo album,"Christine's Legendary Perfect Album",which he later described to Rolling Stone as "so cowardly".
"I just hate hearing it," he said.
join the band
Her disappointment with this album, coupled with her reluctance to perform, led Ms. McVie to put music aside for a time. But in 1970, when the main attraction of Fleetwood Mac was the guitaristgreen peter, who had left the band suddenly after a ruinous acid trip, was invited by Mick Fleetwood to join his ranks.
Initially, he found being asked to join his favorite band "a stressful experience," he told Rolling Stone. But he rose to the occasion by writing two of the catchiest songs for his first official release with the band, Future Games (1971). On this release, the band moved away from British blues and towards Southern California progressive folk-rock, aided by the addition of American musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist Bob Welch.
The band refined that sound on their 1972 set, "Bare Trees," which sold better and contained one of McVie's most soulful songs.Spare me some of your love.The band's 1973 release Penguin went gold. The next collection, Heroes Are Hard to Find, was the band's first to break into the US Top 40. But it wasn't until Welch's departure and the hiring of the team of Nicks and Buckingham, who were romantically involved, for the 1975 album called simply "Fleetwood Mac", which the band began to show their full commercial style.
Mrs. McVie's song "Over My Head" began to enter the Billboard Top 20; His "Say You Love Me" peaked at number 11. After slow development, the "Fleetwood Mac" album finally peaked on the Billboard charts.
Just over a year and a half later, the group released "Rumours," which garnered widespread interest among the band's ranks not only for its four Top 10 hits (two of them written by Ms. McVie), but also for various prestigious events. Dramatic behind-the-scenes footage of the band, which he showed in lyrics and openly discussed in the press.
During the making of the album, the two couples in the band parted ways: Mrs. Nicks and Mr. Buckingham and the McVies got married. McVie's song "You Make Loving Fun" celebrated an affair he was having with the band's lighting director at the time. (He first told Mr. McVie that the song was about his dog.) The upbeat sound of "Don't Stop" was meant to push her ex-husband into a new life without her.
"We wrote these songs in spite of ourselves," McVie told Mojo. “It was a therapeutic move. The only way to get these things out was by saying so, and it came out the hard way. Imagine trying to sing those songs onstage with the people you're singing them about."
He helped ease the pain, telling Mojo that "we were all pretty high," adding, "I don't think there's ever been a sober day." “The thrill of realizing you've written one of the best albums ever written; It's been a phenomenal time," McVie told Attitude magazine in 2019.
But the group yearned to expand creatively. The result was the less commercial-sounding double album Tusk from 1979. While not a hit on the rumored scale, it sold over two million copies and produced three hits. including Mrs. McVie's"Remember me."
in the 80s
With the 1982 release, the group entered the new decade smoothly."Morgan Girl"que alcanzó el número 1, ayudado por "Hold Me" de la Sra. McVie, un éxito Top 5 inspirado en su tumultuosa relación con los Beach Boys.dennis wilson. Two years later, Ms. McVie released a Top 30 solo album, while her strongest single,"I have the control"broke the top 10.
In 1987, a reunited Fleetwood Mac released "Tango in the Night", which included two hits written by Ms. McVie:"General"and "Little Lies." ("Little Lies" was written with Portuguese musician and composer Eddie Quintela, whom he had married the previous year. They divorced in 2003.) Buckingham left the group soon after, breaking the momentum that made his recordings so stellar. The 1990 album "Behind the Mask" barely went gold and spawned only one Top 40 single ("He saved me",written by McVie), while Time, released five years later, was the band's first failed album in two decades.
Lady. McVie did not tour with the band in support of "Time". But in the early 1990s, his hit "Don't Stop" garnered new mainstream attention when it became the theme song for Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign. In 1993, Clinton convinced the five musicians who played the hit to come together to play it at the inaugural ball.
In 1997, they reunited for a tour that spawned the live album The Dance, one of the best-selling concert recordings of all time. But the following year, a growing fear of flying and a desire to return to England from Los Angeles, the band's adopted home, inspired Mrs. McVie to retire to the English countryside.
Five years later, he agreed to add some keyboard parts and backing vocals to the largely ignored Fleetwood Mac album Say You Will, and in 2006 he produced a little-heard solo album, In the Meantime, which he recorded and co-wrote with his guitarist. -Perfect nephew Dan.
Finally, in 2014, fueled by boredom and a growing sense of isolation, she reunited with Mac's top-tier lineup for the massive On With The Show tour. As a result, McVie, like Buckingham, began writing a series of new material, resulting in an album under both names and a joint tour in 2017. The full band also played shows that year; Although Buckingham was fired in 2018, McVie continued to tour with the group in a lineup that included Crowded House's Neil Finn and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell. In 2021, Ms. McVie sold the publishing rights to her entire back catalog of 115 songs for an undisclosed sum.
Information about its survivors was not immediately available.
Throughout her career, Ms. McVie prides herself on never having been categorized by her gender. "I became one of the guys," she told Britain's The Independent newspaper in 2019. "I was always treated with a lot of respect."
While he always recognized the special chemistry of the most successful cast of Fleetwood Mac, he believed his role went beyond that.
"The band members leave and other people take their places," he told Rolling Stone, "but there was always this space where the piano should have been."