Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks leads tributes to Christine McVie after death

CHRISTINE McVie’s heartbroken Fleetwood Mac bandmate Stevie Nicks has described the star as “‘my best friend in the whole world” following her death.

The singer and keyboardist died at the age of 79 this morning in hospital, her family have said.

Stevie Nicks has described Christine McVie as her 'best friend in the whole world' following her death

Stevie Nicks has described Christine McVie as her ‘best friend in the whole world’ following her deathCredit: Corbis – Getty
The pair were bandmates in Fleetwood Mac

The pair were bandmates in Fleetwood MacCredit: Premium Archive – Getty

Leading tributes to the star, American singer Nicks said she had not known Christine was ill until Saturday night, and had wanted to visit her in London.

She wrote on Instagram: “A few hours ago 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 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.

“I always knew I would need these words one day…It’s all I can do now.” 

Nicks then shared lyrics to the song Hallelujah by Haim, handwritten, adding: “See you on the other side my love. Don’t forget me. Always, Stevie.”

Meanwhile, Duran Duran’s John Taylor said Christine was “an artist I held dear and close to my heart.”

The bass guitarist wrote on the band’s Twitter page: “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. RIP.”

Meanwhile, Christine’s devastated Fleetwood Mac bandmates described her as “one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure” in a heartbreaking tribute.

A statement from Fleetwood Mac said on Twitter: “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie.

“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.”

Over three decades, Christine was part of the Fleetwood Mac circus – a rollercoaster ride of dizzying highs and crashing lows before she quit and retreated to the Kent countryside.

Christine, born Christine Perfect in Bouth, Lancashire, had been playing the piano since childhood but set aside her classical training once she heard early rock records by Fats Domino and others.

While studying at the Moseley School of Art, she befriended various members of Britain’s emerging blues scene and, in her 20s, joined the band Chicken Shack as a singer and piano player.

Among the rival bands, she admired was Fleetwood Mac, which then featured the talents of blues guitarist Peter Green along with the rhythm section of Fleetwood and McVie. 

She joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970 as the keyboardist after marrying John McVie and contributing to the backup vocals on Kiln House.

Despite its tumultuous history, Fleetwood Mac became one of the famed rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, comprising of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, as well as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

But as the 1990s drew to a close, McVie said she just wanted “to chill and be ordinary” and she returned to the UK after moving to the US for the band.