Longtime Fleetwood Mac keyboardist and vocalist, Christine McVie, has passed away at the age of 79.
In a statement shared by her family, McVie passed away at the hospital 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."
Having played piano for the blues band Chicken Shack, McVie soon joined Fleetwood Mac following the departure of founding guitarist Peter Green. She would end up being a vital member of the band during its height. Her marriage to the band's bassist John McVie as well as the relationships the other members were in played an influential role in the recording of the band's classic album, Rumours. One of the album's singles, "You Make Loving Fun," was written by McVie's affair with the band's lighting director, Curry Grant, which partially contributed to the rising tensions and internal turmoil within the band. The couple would end up divorcing in 1976 following the album's tour but would continue to perform together until McVie left Fleetwood Mac in the late 1990s.
Outside of Fleetwood Mac, McVie released several solo albums including Christine Perfect, which took its title from her maiden name, and most recently Lindsay Buckingham Christine McVie in 2017 alongside her former bandmate. McVie revealed that agoraphobia pulled her away from the music world for many years after she quit the band. She eventually overcame that as well as her fear of flying, eventually reuniting with Fleetwood Mac in 2014. She had since continued to perform with the band intermittently. McVie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac in 1998.
In their own statement, Fleetwood Mac wrote, “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.”
Following news of her passing, tributes to McVie have been pouring in from across the music world.
\u201cI am so sad to hear of Christine McVie going on to heaven. The world feels weird without her here. What a legend and an icon and an amazing human being. RIP\u201d— Sheryl Crow (@Sheryl Crow) 1669842311
\u201cSo so sad to hear about Christine McVie an artist I held dear and close to my heart. 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. - John\u201d— Duran Duran (@Duran Duran) 1669843947
\u201cRest in peace rock n' roll icon Christine McVie, singer and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac. \n\nMcVie helped shape the sound of the '70s alongside her counterparts in Fleetwood Mac.\u201d— The Doors (@The Doors) 1669846183
Photo via Getty/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive