Famed Fleetwood Mac keyboardist and singer Christine McVie dead at age 79

Christine McVie, the legendary co-singer, songwriter, and keyboardist of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Fleetwood Mac, passed away on Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported.

According to a statement from her family, the 79-year-old artist was surrounded by loved ones as she died in a hospital following an unspecified “short illness.”

Beloved by family and friends

“On behalf of Christine McVie’s family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death,” a statement posted to McVie’s Facebook page said. “She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, 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. RIP Christine McVie,” the post added.

A statement was also issued on Fleetwood Mac’s official Twitter account, which said, “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,” the band added. “Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”

An extraordinary career

Though no cause of death has been revealed aside from the unspecified “short illness,” Rolling Stone reported that McVie had told the outlet in a June interview that she was in “quite bad health” and had been dealing with a “chronic back problem.”

Born in the U.K. in 1943 as Christine Anne Perfect to a father who was a concert violinist and music professor and mother who was a faith healer and psychic medium, she was classically trained on the piano until she shifted into blues and rock and roll as a teenager, and played in a number of different bands before joining a group known as Chicken Shack in 1968.

Fortuitously enough, that group shared studio space with Fleetwood Mac, and it was there that Christine met and soon married Fleetwood Mac’s bassist John McVie, taking on his name, though she wouldn’t actually join the band until 1970.

The couple got divorced in 1976, but McVie kept the name and stayed with the band, touring and writing and singing many of the group’s big hits, until she took a lengthy hiatus in 1998, after the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, only to then rejoin the band once more in 2014 for another five years of concert touring, with her final performance being in 2019.

Friend and peacekeeper

Aside from her work with the main band, McVie also released a few solo albums over the years as well as side projects with other members.

Fleetwood Mac was well-known for its internal squabbling among its members, but McVie always had the reputation for being the calm one who brought everybody together. In her final interview with Rolling Stone, she said, “I enjoyed the storm … Even though I am quite a peaceful person, I did enjoy that storm. Although it’s said that we fought a lot, we actually did spend a lot of our time laughing.”

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