Christine McVie, the longtime keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac and co-writer of some of the band’s biggest hits, has died at the age of 79. The band shared the news on its social media accounts this afternoon (Nov. 30).
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” it wrote on Twitter. 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.”
McVie’s family shared a statement of their own, saying that she died today after a short illness.
“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 hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness,” the statement said. “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.”
Born Christine Perfect on July 12, 1943, in England, her career in music began as a pre-teen. She joined the band Chicken Shack in 1967 and played on its No. 14 U.K. hit “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
In 1968, she married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and that same year appeared on the band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful. McVie become a full-time member of Fleetwood Mac in 1971 and was a key part of the group through its best-selling Rumours period in the ’70s until 1995. She worked sporadically with Fleetwood Mac in 1997-8 before retiring from the group, although she returned to the fold in 2014 and toured with fellow classic era members Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie until last year.
In Fleetwood Mac, McVie co-wrote and sang such staples as “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Hold Me,” “Little Lies,” “Songbird,” “Over My Head,” “Say You Love Me,” and “Everywhere,” and was inducted with the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Her songs often ruminated on unrequited or forbidden love, subjects she also explored on solo albums such as 1984’s self-titled effort and 2004’s In the Meantime. McVie and Buckingham teamed for a 2017 project released under their own names and also toured for the first time as a duo.