Musicians Pay Tribute to Christine McVie

Peers cite Fleetwood Mac singer as an inspiration
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2022 7:45 PM CST
Peers Honor Star Who 'Radiated Purity and Sass'
Members of Fleetwood Mac, from left, Mike Campbell, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, and Mick Fleetwood appear at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York in 2019.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Her peers are mourning Christine McVie, who died on Wednesday, remembering her voice, her songwriting, her human qualities, and everything else she brought to Fleetwood Mac. They talked about her most moving songs, which she somehow produced quickly. "I don't struggle over my songs," she told Rolling Stone in 1977. "Songbird," for instance, took a half-hour to write. The band's leader, Mick Fleetwood, once said he wanted "Songbird" played at his funeral, in hopes it would "send me off fluttering."

McVie had described discovering the Fleetwood Mac sound when she first sang harmony with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, per the New York Times. "The two of them just chirped into the perfect three-way harmony," McVie said. "I just remember thinking, 'This is it!'" The pianist was secure in her place in Fleetwood Mac, she said, despite its many personnel changes over the years. "Band members leave and other people take their place," she said, "but there was always that space where the piano should be." Tributes came from:

Ann Wilson of Heart: "Christine was a gem. Soulful, classy and a beautiful songwriter. 'Over My Head’ was always my sultry, angelic favorite," Wilson told CNN.
Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast: "Every time I tried to write a classy synth line in the studio I’d always say I was trying to channel my inner Christine." Zauner had a framed poster of McVie put over her piano in the studio, she said, per Consequence of Sound.
John Taylor of Duran Duran: "She radiated both purity and sass in equal measure, bringing light to the music of the 70s," he said, per Billboard.
Haim: "The sisterhood Stevie and Christine had was so vital to us growing up," the band said in a statement, per Variety.

Drive-By Truckers: "Christine McVie had the most hits of anyone in Fleetwood Mac, yet was somehow the most underrated member. ... Her songs had a soulfulness unhampered by pretense," the band tweeted, per Vulture.
Rosanne Cash: "Such a great songwriter, singer, and a beautiful presence in Fleetwood Mac," the singer said, per Ultimate Classic Rock.

Rolling Stone recommends a list of some of the "best and most essential" songs McVie wrote. In addition to "Songbird," they include, "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Don't Stop," "Show Me a Smile," "Spare Me a Little of Your Love," and "You Make Loving Fun." (Read more obituary stories.)

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