Christine McVie: Tributes pour in for Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Songbird’

Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood led the way with tributes for Fleetwood Mac keyboardist Christine McVie, who died Wednesday.

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McVie, 79, joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She would write and co-write some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun” from the “Rumours” album. She also wrote “Songbird,” “Over My Head,” “Say You Love Me,” “Hold Me” (co-written with Robbie Patton) and “Little Lies” (co-written with Eddy Quintela).

Fellow Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks posted a tribute to her “best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975,” Variety reported.

That was the day that Nicks and her then-boyfriend, singer-guitarist Lindsay Buckingham, auditioned for the band. That 1970s combination of the band produced the group’s biggest hits.

“A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away. I didn’t even know she was ill … until late Saturday night,” Nicks wrote. “I wanted to get to London but we were told to wait. So, since Saturday, one song has been swirling around in my head, over and over and over. I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her, and so, I’m singing it to her now.”

Nicks quoted from the Haim song “Hallelujah” in her post, Variety reported.

Mick Fleetwood, who founded Fleetwood Mac, also paid tribute to McVie on social media.

“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,” Fleetwood wrote in an Instagram post. “Part of my heart has flown away today. ... I will miss everything about you, Christine McVie. Memories abound ... they fly to me.”

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham wrote cryptically on Instagram on Tuesday, quoting from his composition “September Song” that “the days dwindle down to a precious few. ... September, November ... And these few precious days.”

McVie was born Christine Anne Perfect on July 12, 1943, Rolling Stone reported. She contributed to several of Fleetwood Mac’s early albums, including 1968′s “Mr. Wonderful” and 1970′s “Kiln House” She also painted the cover for “Kiln House,” the magazine reported.

On “Mystery to Me,” McVie notably sang “Just Crazy Love” in 1973.

In June, McVie released a new album, titled “Songbird (A Solo Collection),” Rolling Stone reported. The collection included songs from her two self-titled solo albums and some unreleased material.

Her signature song, “Songbird,” was also included in the collection, pairing McVie’s original vocals with a new string arrangement by Vince Mendoza, according to the magazine.

Mike Campbell, who played guitar in Fleetwood Mac for the group’s 2019 tour, said in a statement that “sweet Christine has left us.”

“That voice, those eyes, that smile. No one like her in the universe,” Campbell said. “I remember in rehearsal once after playing ‘I’d Rather Go Blind,’ she looked at me and said, ‘I like playing the blues with you, Mike.’ I’ve never met anyone with such an angelic aura. Always so kind to everyone. We will all miss you so. No one could ever fill those shoes.”

Rock band Garbage said in a tweet that it was “Just gutted” to learn of McVie’s death.

“Songbird forever,” the band wrote.

Former President Bill Clinton, whose campaign theme song in 1992 was McVie’s optimistic song “Don’t Stop,” said he would miss the singer.

“It perfectly captured the mood of a nation eager for better days,” tweeted Clinton, who announced earlier Wednesday that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19. “I’m grateful to Christine & Fleetwood Mac for entrusting us with such a meaningful song. I will miss her.”

“I’m so sad to hear of Christine McVie going on to heaven,” singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow tweeted. “The world feels weird without her here.”

John Taylor of Duran Duran called McVie “an artist I held dear and close to my heart.”

“She radiated both purity and sass in equal measure, bringing light to the music of the 70s,” Taylor tweeted.

In a Facebook post, the Eagles called McVie a “vibrant, soulful spirit.:

“Her music was, and will remain, a gift to the world,” the band wrote.