Fleetwood Mac’s McVie hailed as ‘important’ female icon in rock music

Christine McVie was 'important' woman in rock music says expert

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Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie was “not a sort of glamorous pop icon” but a “working musician” and an “important woman in rock music”, a bereaved critic has said. Music commentator Neil McCormick praised the late musician, who died on Wednesday, for her “sheer talent and presence”, calling her a “very impressive artist all round”. He added that she brought “melody and harmony” to Fleetwood Mac and was instrumental to the British-American bands seismic success. Mr McCormick’s comments come as tributes from across the world poured in for Ms McVie, including from former US President Bill Clinton. 

Mr McCormick said: “She was one of the two most gifted musicians in the band, along with Lindsay Buckingham, really bringing the melodic and harmonic flow to it, and she wrote beautiful songs. 

“But she is also just important as a woman in rock music, certainly at a time when it was a very male-dominated business. 

“She was not a sort of glamorous, sexy, iconic popstar; she was a member of the band, she was a working musician. 

“She was not out front, she was one of the gang, and she stood out very firmly, along with Stevie Nicks, as someone who demanded to be treated as an equal, just by their sheer talent and presence, to be treated correctly and she treated people correctly. She was a very impressive artist all round.”

Former bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks led tributes to the “one-of-a-kind” Christine McVie following the Fleetwood Mac star’s death at the age of 79.

Ms Nicks lamented the loss of her “best friend in the whole world”, while Mr Fleetwood said part of his heart had “flown away” following the news.

Fleetwood Mac released a joint statement, though Mr Fleetwood and Ms Nicks later posted their own personal messages on social media.

Mr Fleetwood said: “This is a day where my dear sweet Friend Christine McVie has taken to flight and left us earthbound folks to listen with bated breath to the sounds of that ‘song bird,’ reminding one and all that love is all around us to reach for and touch in this precious life that is gifted to us. 

“Part of my heart has flown away today… I will miss everything about you Christine McVie. Memories abound… they fly to me. Mick Fleetwood.” 

Ms Nicks said she had not known Ms McVie was ill until Saturday night, and had wanted to visit her in London.

British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac were founded in London in 1967 and have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups in history. Their best-known songs include Dreams, Go Your Own Way and Everywhere.

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

Perhaps their best-known album, Rumours, released in 1977, became one of the best-selling of all time and included hits such as Second Hand News, The Chain and the Christine McVie-penned You Make Loving Fun.

In addition to several multi-platinum tracks, the record sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

A statement from the band on Twitter described McVie as “truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure”.

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Former US president Bill Clinton was among the famous faces remembering “rock n roll icon” Christine McVie and her “legendary career”.

Heavyweights from across the music industry including Duran Duran, Haim, Questlove and Sheryl Crow all posted online tributes to the Fleetwood Mac star following news of her death.

Mr Clinton said that the band’s track Don’t Stop, written by Ms McVie and used as his 1992 campaign song, had “captured the mood of a nation eager for better days”. “I’m saddened by the passing of Christine McVie,” he wrote.

“Don’t Stop was my ’92 campaign theme song – it perfectly captured the mood of a nation eager for better days. I’m grateful to Christine & Fleetwood Mac for entrusting us with such a meaningful song. I will miss her.”

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