Stevie Nicks turned 75 with a powerful and emotional performance in Orlando, Florida on Thursday – paying tribute to her beloved late bandmate Christine McVie.
The music icon took to the stage at the Amway Center on the eve of her birthday – wowing with a 15 song set which included a heartbreaking performance of Landslide.
The star looked visibly emotional as she performed, while poignant photos of Stevie with Christine throughout their careers flashed up on the scene behind her – six months after McVie died aged 79.
Before performing her iconic song Gypsy, the star opened up about her rise to fame, saying: ‘There was a point in my life where I made it, and it was really good. But I said, ‘Back up, Stevie,’
‘I took my bed off the bed frame, put it on the floor, threw some really pretty old-fashioned coverlets and flowers on it. I sat down and I’m like, ‘I’m still Stevie.’”
Forever love: Stevie Nicks turned 75 with a powerful and emotional performance in Orlando, Florida on Thursday – paying tribute to her beloved late bandmate Christine McVie
Music icons: The star looked visibly emotional as she performed, while poignant photos of Stevie with Christine throughout their careers flashed up on the scene behind her – six months after McVie died aged 79 (pictured together 2018)
She also covered Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth and paid an emotional tribute to veterans with Soldier’s Angel – ahead of Memorial Day and amid the war in Ukraine.
She said: ‘In my opinion, Ukraine is fighting for all of us. I stand with Ukraine.I stand for democracy. I stand for freedom.’
The concert comes six months after McVie died after suffering a stroke as she battled against cancer.
The singer-songwriter died after an ischaemic stroke, according to her death certificate which was seen by The Blast.
Ischaemic strokes are caused when blood flow is restricted to the brain by blood clots which form where the arteries have been narrowed.
Her secondary cause of death was cancer, which she had previously been diagnosed with. Her cancer was a ‘metastatic malignancy of unknown primary origin’, which means cancer had spread in her body while the origin of a tumour was not known.
McVie wrote and sang on some the band’s biggest hits, including Don’t Stop, Little Lies, Say You Love Me, You Make Loving Fun and Songbird.
Her genius and warm, soulful vocals helped to turn the one-time blues band into one of the most successful rock groups of all time, with more than 100million record sold worldwide.
Lost in memory: Stevie honored her late bandmate with a beautiful rendition
Song: Stevie wore a black dress as she performed a 15-song set
Many of her songs featured on Rumours, their best-known work from 1977 which chronicled the group’s drug use and affairs and is regularly cited as one of rock’s greatest albums.
Born Christine Perfect in the Lake District village of Bouth, Cumbria, in 1943, she grew up near Birmingham. She studied at art school and qualified as an art teacher – but instead became one of the few women involved in the British blues boom of the late 1960s, joining a band called Chicken Shack and also releasing a solo album. She married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie in 1968 and by 1970 was an integral part of Fleetwood Mac.
When Americans Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined drummer Mick Fleetwood and the McVies in 1974, the band’s style was transformed, with Miss McVie, Nicks and Buckingham all contributing songs to their eponymous first album together and to Rumours, which sold more than 40million copies worldwide.
Further albums followed, including Tusk, Mirage and Tango in the Night. All three songwriters also released solo albums and in 1998 Miss McVie left Fleetwood Mac after the death of her father but eventually returned to tour alongside her bandmates in 2014.
McVie’s family announced her death adding: ‘She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning following a short illness. She was in the company of her family.’ 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.’
Her Fleetwood Mac bandmates said: ‘There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie.
Fleetwood Mac released a joint statement, though Fleetwood and Nicks later posted their own personal messages 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.
‘Part of my heart has flown away today… I will miss everything about you Christine McVie. Memories abound… they fly to me. Mick Fleetwood.’
Nicks said she had not known McVie was ill until Saturday night, and had wanted to visit her in London.
‘A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away,’ she wrote in a heartfelt post on Instagram.
‘I didn’t even know she was ill… until late Saturday night. I wanted to be in London, I wanted to get to London – but we were told to wait. So, since Saturday, one song has been swirling around 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. I always knew I would need these words one day… It’s all I can do now.’
McVie, the co-lead vocalist and keyboardist of Fleetwood Mac is pictured with her bandmates Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie in 1975
Stevie shared a moving tribute to her ‘best friend’ McVie after her death – as Fleetwood Mac keyboardist dies at 79: ‘See you on the other side, my love’
Nicks then shared lyrics to the song Hallelujah by Haim, handwritten, adding: ‘See you on the other side my love. Don’t forget me. Always, Stevie.’
British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac were founded in London in 1967 and 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 and You Make Loving Fun. In addition to several multi-platinum tracks, the record sold more than 40million copies worldwide.
A statement from the band on Twitter described McVie as ‘truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure’.
‘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,’ the statement read.
‘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. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.’