According to her family’s statement posted on her verified Instagram account, Christine McVie passed away Wednesday after a brief illness. She was 79 years old.
“We are sorry to inform you of Christine McVie’s passing. She passed peacefully at the hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, after a brief illness,” the statement says. “She was surrounded by her family at the time.”
The statement continued: “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.”
In a statement posted to Fleetwood Mac’s account, the group paid tribute to McVie.
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” the band’s statement read. “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.”
McVie was a classically trained musician who performed as Christine Perfect with the British band Chicken Shack in the late 1960s. She was born in Greenodd, United Kingdom, to a music teacher father.
When Fleetwood Mac was led by guitarist and founder Peter Green, she married its bass guitarist, John McVie.
“I got to know John, fell in love with him, and it was just sensational and exciting. Fleetwood Mac were terrific and really funny,” she told The Guardian in June 2022.
Prior to Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining the band in 1974, the group went through several membership changes.
Many of their hits were written or sung by McVie, including “Don’t Stop,” “Over My Head,” and “You Make Loving Fun.”
In addition to McVie’s divorce, Buckingham and Nicks’ personal relationship led to Fleetwood Mac’s instability.
The band disbanded in 1987 with Buckingham going solo and Nicks going solo in 1990.
A compilation of McVie’s solo work, “Songbird (A Solo Collection),” was released earlier this year.
In spite of their interpersonal struggles, the band’s musical chemistry was undeniable and they eventually reunited.
“I just wanted to embrace being in the English countryside and not have to troop around on the road. I moved to Kent, and I loved being able to walk around the streets, nobody knowing who I was. Then of course I started to miss it,” McVie told The Guardian after leaving Fleetwood Mac 16 years ago. “I called Mick and asked: ‘How would you feel about me coming back to the band?’ He got in touch with everybody and we had a band meeting over the phone and they all went: ‘Come baaaack!!’ I felt regenerated and I felt like writing again.”
In 1998, Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday, tributes to McVie flooded social media.
“We were so lucky to have a life with her,” Fleetwood Mac said in their statement. “Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”