Christine McVie dead: Fleetwood Mac keyboardist dies in hospital aged 79 after short illness

Christine McVie dead: Fleetwood Mac keyboardist dies in hospital aged 79 after short illness

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie has died, her family said in a statement, adding she was a “revered musician who was loved universally”.

A statement on Facebook said: “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.

“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.”

File photo dated 26/01/18 of (left to right) Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. (PA)
File photo dated 26/01/18 of (left to right) Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. (PA)

The singer, who was married to the band’s bass guitarist John McVie, joined them in 1970 and was the force behind some of their greatest hits as they shook off their origins as a blues band to become one of the biggest acts in the world.

Fleetwood Mac, named after drummer Mick Fleetwood and her husband’s surname, sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Her songs including Don’t Stop and You Make Loving Fun were among the stand out tracks on Rumours which became one of the biggest selling albums of all time just as her marriage hit trouble.

She also wrote and sang lead vocals on the singles Everywhere and Little Lies, from the 1987 album Tango in the Night, which were huge international hits.

Her fellow Fleetwood Mac star, Stevie Nicks, posted an emotional tribute to her “best friend in the whole world”.

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

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McVie’s marriage eventually broke down in 1976 but she stayed with the band until 1998 before pursuing a solo career and rejoining them in 2014.

Christine McVie (Redferns)
Christine McVie (Redferns)

She also dated Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson and performed with the US band on their LA album in 1979.

A statement from the band said on Twitter: “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.”

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Other musicians paying tribute included the band Garbage who said they were “gutted” to learn of her death.

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Canadian singer Ron Sexsmith said her death was an “enormous loss”.

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Born in Lancashire and brought up in Birmingham, McVie started out in the blues rockers Chicken Shack where she often toured with the musicians who would later become her bandmates.

She was among the eight members of the band who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

In 2017, she appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, revealing that she had retreated from the world and developed agoraphobia after she quit the band and moved from California to Kent.

McVie’s death comes two years after Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green died at the age of 73.