Christine McVie, key member of Fleetwood Mac, dies at age 79

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Christine McVie, keyboardist and mellifluous-voiced female singer in rock group Fleetwood Mac, has passed away. Numerous media outlets reported the star’s passing, and many who knew and worked with McVie expressed their sadness online. While no cause of death has been specified, the performer had reportedly been ill for a brief period of time.

The sound and style of Christine McVie

When listening to Fleetwood Mac after McVie’s entry into the band, there were three singers with distinct voices. Lindsey Buckingham being the male voice, Stevie Nicks, the raspy, edgy female voice, and then, there is Christine McVie, the lower pitched, sometimes sultry, sometimes buoyant-voiced female singer.

On the songs that were led by McVie, her voice worked with the instrumentation to add drama and tension to the piece. One example is “Say That You Love Me.” McVie’s warm tone draws listeners in. Her calm demeanor brings the narrative to the fore, and audiences figure out that this is not just a song about passion – – it is also about vulnerability: when McVie sings, “I guess I’m not as strong as I used to be/and if you use me again it’ll be the end of me,” something deep has been exposed that is both universally understood and personal. Her rollicking keyboard work only adds to her singing.

The McVie-led “Don’t Stop” was used as a campaign theme song for Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the 1990s. However, the song’s original rise to popularity was from its inclusion on the 1977 album, “Rumours.” Reportedly, the song is to cheer on her soon to be ex-husband to look forward to days without her. The album is famously about the group’s relationship dramas.

According to CNN.com and other sources, McVie was in a band called Chicken Shack that used to open for Fleetwood Mac. By the time McVie joined, Fleetwood Mac had already released three albums.

McVie was born Christine Anne Perfect, July 12, 1943. Her father was a music educator and concert violinist, and her mother was a psychic. According to the Washington Post, McVie began studying music at age 11, and with her band, Chicken Shack, cracked the British charts with a cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” (1968).

Famous performers as varied as Garbage and Heart, have expressed sadness over McVie’s passing. Certainly her distinctive voice will be missed. A complete list of survivors is not available. In addition to John McVie, Christine McVie married a Portuguese musician, Eddy Quintela in 1986. They divorced in 2003, and he passed away in 2020, the Washington Post reports.

McVie will be remembered as a singular voice that was perfect for telling personal truths.

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