The moments that made Christine McVie

Remembering the Fleetwood Mac keyboardist and singer in the songs, albums and live performances that defined her career

Singer, songwriter and keyboardist Christine McVie has died aged 79. Best known for being the mind and voice behind some of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, she was recognised as one of the best songwriters of her generation. From her three solo albums to her extensive work with Fleetwood Mac, McVie had a career that is near impossible to summarise. Here are just a few of her most memorable moments in music.

I'd Rather Go Blind

Chicken Shack

By 1967, McVie had already played solo and in bands as Christine Perfect. Her break came when she was recruited as a pianist and backing singer for Chicken Shack, a blues band founded by some of her former bandmates. McVie penned the band’s debut track, “It’s Okay With Me Baby” and sang lead on their biggest hit, “I’d Rather Go Blind”. She stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums, during which time she won two Melody Maker awards for her vocals.

Fleetwood Mac and Future Games

After marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, Christine felt that the best thing for their marriage would be to play in the same band. She left Chicken Shack and joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. Although she had previously recorded backing vocals for the band, Future Games was the first album to feature McVie as an official band member. It featured two songs written by McVie: ‘Morning Rain’ and the album’s closer, ‘Show Me A Smile’.

Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop (Official Music Video) [4K Remaster]


1976 and 1977 were the Rumours years, in which McVie and fellow bandmembers navigated personal turmoil to create what has been hailed as one of the best albums of all time. McVie wrote four tracks on the album, including top ten hits ‘You Make Loving Fun’ and ‘Don’t Stop’. She also penned and sang ‘Songbird’, the much-covered piano ballad that poured out of her in half an hour in the middle of the night. This was the song with which she would close out many Fleetwood Mac concerts in the years to come.

Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere (Live) (Official Video) [HD]

Tango In The Night

After a brief hiatus from Fleetwood Mac, McVie re-joined the band for their 1987 album Tango In The Night, their biggest success since Rumours. The record also marked some of McVie’s greatest personal successes, including top five hits ‘Little Lies’ and ‘Everywhere’. Her work on Tango In The Night is remembered as some of the best she did with Fleetwood Mac and was integral to the album’s success.

Christine McVie - Got A Hold On Me (Official Music Video) [HD]

Solo albums

Before finding success with Fleetwood Mac, McVie recorded a solo album entitled Christine Perfect (later retitled to The Legendary Christine Perfect Album). In 1984 she recorded a second solo album, Christine McVie, which included the top ten hit ‘Got A Hold On Me’. After departing the band, she would go on to record a third solo album, In The Meantime. Her solo discography offers further proof of what she brought to Fleetwood Mac: thoughtful song-writing, moving vocals and compelling storytelling.

Saturday Sessions: Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie perform "In My World"

Lindsay Buckingham Christine McVie

In 2017, long after her departure from Fleetwood Mac, McVie found herself collaborating with some familiar faces. She, Lindsay Buckingham, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood all joined forces to create Lindsay Buckingham Christine McVie, a record that celebrated the musical chemistry between its two namesakes.

“For me, this is all a fresh beginning,” said McVie at the time of the album’s recording. “I didn’t know myself I’d end up coming back into the band after so long – 16 years… I guess I’ve rediscovered my love for writing and my love for music.”

Fleetwood Mac, Songbird 1982

The legacy

In 2014, McVie was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. This came over fifteen years after her inauguration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac, and her acceptance of a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. As recently as 2021, she was honoured with the Trailblazer Award at the UK Americana Awards. She has also been the recipient of two Grammys.

McVie’s presence was felt all over Fleetwood Mac’s greatest work. She was what some have called the band’s ‘secret weapon’, a song-writing force in their back pocket who added light and shade to their records, gave them some of their biggest hits, and helped to take them from uncertain blues rockers to a musical tour de force.