Christine McVie

Christine McVie
A photo of McVie's face, standing in front of a microphone
McVie performing in 2019
Christine Anne Perfect

(1943-07-12)12 July 1943
Bouth, Lancashire, England
Died30 November 2022(2022-11-30) (aged 79)
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active
  • 1966–1998
  • 2004
  • 2013–2022
  • (m. 1968; div. 1976)
  • Eduardo Quintela
    (m. 1986; div. 2003)
Musical career
OriginBirmingham, England
  • Keyboards
  • vocals
Formerly of
Christine McVie signature.svg

Christine Anne McVie (/məkˈv/;[1] née Perfect; 12 July 1943 – 30 November 2022) was an English musician and songwriter. She was principally known as a vocalist and keyboardist with the band Fleetwood Mac.

McVie was a member of several bands, notably Chicken Shack, in the mid-1960s British Blues scene. She began working with Fleetwood Mac in 1968, initially as a session player, before joining the band in 1970. Her first compositions with Fleetwood Mac appeared on their fifth album, Future Games. She remained with the band through many changes of line-up, writing songs and performing lead vocals, before partially retiring in 1998. She was described as "the prime mover behind some of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits".[2] Eight songs written or co-written by McVie, including "Don't Stop", "Everywhere" and "Little Lies", appeared on Fleetwood Mac's 1988 Greatest Hits album.[3] She appeared as a session musician on the band's last studio album, Say You Will.[4][5] She also released three solo studio albums.

As a member of Fleetwood Mac, McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 1998 received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.[6][7] In the same year, after almost 30 years with Fleetwood Mac, she left the band and lived in semi-retirement, releasing a solo album in 2004. She appeared on stage with Fleetwood Mac at the O2 Arena in London in September 2013 and rejoined the band in 2014 prior to their On with the Show tour.[8]

McVie received a Gold Badge of Merit Award from BASCA, now The Ivors Academy, in 2006.[9] She received the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 2014 and was honoured with the Trailblazer Award at the UK Americana Awards in 2021.[10][11] She was also the recipient of two Grammy Awards.[12]

Early life

McVie was born on 12 July 1943 in the Lake District village of Bouth and grew up in the Bearwood area of Smethwick near Birmingham.[13][14] Her father, Cyril Percy Absell Perfect, was a concert violinist and music lecturer at St Peter's College of Education, Saltley, Birmingham, and taught violin at St Philip's Grammar School, Birmingham. McVie's mother, Beatrice Edith Maud (Reece) Perfect, was a medium, psychic and faith healer. McVie's grandfather had performed at Westminster Abbey, London.[15]

McVie was introduced to the piano when she was four, but did not study music seriously until the age of 11, when she was reintroduced to it by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of her elder brother, John.[16] She continued her classical training until the age of 15, but shifted her musical focus to rock and roll when her brother came home with a Fats Domino songbook.[17] Other early influences included the Everly Brothers.[18]

Early music

McVie studied sculpture at Moseley School of Art in Birmingham[19] for five years, with the aim of becoming an art teacher. While at art school she met budding musicians in Britain's blues scene.[16] Her introduction to musical performance came when she met Stan Webb and Andy Silvester, who were in a band called Sounds of Blue, and they invited her to join them.[20] She also often sang with Spencer Davis. By the time McVie graduated from art college, Sounds of Blue had split up. Because she did not have enough money to launch herself into the art world, she moved to London and worked briefly as a department-store window dresser.[20]

Chicken Shack

In 1967, McVie, then performing under the name Christine Perfect, learned that her former bandmates Andy Silvester and Stan Webb were forming a blues band, Chicken Shack, and were looking for a pianist. She contacted them, and they invited her to join the band to play keyboards and piano and sing backing vocals. Chicken Shack's debut release was "It's Okay with Me Baby", which was written by and featured McVie.[20] She stayed with the band for two studio albums, and her genuine feel for the blues became evident in her Sonny Thompson-style piano playing and her authentic "bluesy" voice.[21] Chicken Shack had a hit with a cover of "I'd Rather Go Blind", which featured McVie on lead vocals.[22] McVie received a Melody Maker award for UK's best female vocalist in 1969 and again in 1970. She left Chicken Shack in 1969, having married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie a year earlier and not wanted to be separated by commitments to another band.[23]

Fleetwood Mac

McVie was a fan of Fleetwood Mac and, while she was touring with Chicken Shack, the two bands would often meet. Both bands were signed to Blue Horizon and Fleetwood Mac asked her to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green's songs on the band's second studio album, Mr. Wonderful.[24][25]

Encouraged to continue her career, McVie recorded her debut solo studio album, Christine Perfect; following her success as a member of Fleetwood Mac, the album was reissued under the name The Legendary Christine Perfect Album. After marrying John McVie, she joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She had already contributed backing vocals and painted the cover for Kiln House that year. The band had just lost founding member Peter Green and its members were nervous about touring without him.[26] McVie had been a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, and since she knew all the lyrics to their songs, she went along.[27]

McVie went on to become an integral member, another lead vocalist and keyboardist of the group. The first studio album with her as a full band member was Future Games (1971), which was also the first with American-born member Bob Welch in place of founding member Jeremy Spencer.[25]

The early 1970s was a rocky time for the band, with a revolving door of musicians, and only the studio albums Bare Trees (1972) and Mystery to Me (1973) were successful.[28] Furthermore, a group impersonating Fleetwood Mac (which later became Stretch) was touring the United States with encouragement from the band's manager, Clifford Davis. The tour collapsed, but it led to a protracted lawsuit between Davis and Fleetwood Mac.[29]

McVie agreed to move with the rest of Fleetwood Mac to the United States in 1974. Within a year, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Buckingham Nicks joined the band, giving it an added dimension. Their first studio album together, 1975's Fleetwood Mac, had several hit songs, with McVie's "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me", both reaching Billboard's top-20 singles chart. "Over My Head" put Fleetwood Mac on American radio and into the national top 20.[30]

A photo of McVie sitting down
McVie in 1977

In 1976, McVie began an on-the-road affair with the band's lighting director,[31] which inspired her to write "You Make Loving Fun", a top-10 hit on the landmark smash Rumours (1977), one of the best-selling albums of all time.[32] Her biggest hit was "Don't Stop", which reached the top five.[33] Rumours also included McVie's "Songbird", a ballad played with just her on piano with Buckingham accompanying on guitar.[34]

By the end of the Rumours tour, the McVies were divorced. The 1979 double studio album Tusk produced three more US top-20 hits ("Tusk", "Sara", and Christine's "Think About Me"), but it came nowhere near to matching the success of the Rumours album.[35] The Tusk tour continued into 1980, after which the band took time apart. They reunited in 1981 to record the studio album Mirage at the Château d'Hérouville's studio in France. The album, released in 1982, returned the band to the top of the US charts and contained the top-five hit "Hold Me", co-written by McVie. McVie's inspiration for the song was her tortured relationship with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson.[36] Her song, "Love in Store", became the third single from the album peaking at number 22 in early 1983.[37]

Recorded in 1984, her second solo studio album, Christine McVie, included the hits "Got a Hold on Me" (number 10 US pop, number one adult contemporary and number one Mainstream Rock Tracks) and "Love Will Show Us How" (number 30 US pop). A third single, "I'm the One", was released, but did not chart. McVie was quoted in The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits as saying of her solo album, "Maybe it isn't the most adventurous album in the world, but I wanted to be honest and please my own ears with it."[38]

McVie also met keyboardist Eddy Quintela, whom she married on 18 October 1986. Quintela went on to co-write many songs with her that were featured on subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums. She rejoined Fleetwood Mac to record the Tango in the Night studio album, which went on to become the band's biggest success since Rumours 10 years earlier. The biggest hit from the album, which was top five in both the UK and U.S., was McVie's "Little Lies", co-written with Quintela. Another McVie single from the album, "Everywhere", reached number four in the UK, which would be the band's third-highest ever chart peak there, and their final top-40 UK hit to date (the single peaked at number 14 in the U.S.).[39] In 1990, the band (now without Lindsey Buckingham) recorded Behind the Mask, but the studio album only reached Gold status in the U.S.,[40] and only McVie's song "Save Me" made the US top 40. [41] The album did enter the UK album chart at number one and reached Platinum status there.[42][43] The second U.S. single release from the album, McVie's "Skies the Limit", did not make the main U.S. charts, but was a hit on the adult contemporary chart.[44]

Upon the death of her father, Cyril Perfect, while she was touring for Behind the Mask, McVie decided to retire from touring.[45] Despite the departure of Stevie Nicks, McVie remained with the band, writing and recording a new track, "Love Shines", for the 1992 box set 25 Years – The Chain, and five songs for the band's 1995 studio album Time. After Fleetwood, John McVie, and Buckingham got together for one of Buckingham's solo projects in the mid-1990s, she was asked to sing and play on some of the tracks. Then, the four decided a full reunion was possible and Nicks joined them. The 1997 live album, The Dance, reached number one on the US album charts.[46]

Despite her reservations, McVie complied with the band's touring schedule, and then performed for the group's 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the Grammy Awards show, and the Brit Awards in the UK. McVie later revealed in a 2014 Rolling Stone interview that she had developed a phobia about flying, which was later treated with psychotherapy. This phobia was the reason she decided not to continue with Fleetwood Mac after 1998.[45]

1999–2014: Hiatus from Fleetwood Mac and semi retirement

After The Dance, McVie returned to England to be near her family and stayed out of public view until 2000, when she appeared to accept an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Greenwich.[47] Five years after leaving Fleetwood Mac, McVie and Quintela divorced.[48]

In a 2004 interview, McVie admitted to not listening much to pop music any more and stated, instead, a preference for Classic FM.[49][50] In December 2003, she went to see Fleetwood Mac's last UK performance on the Say You Will tour in London, but did not join her former bandmates on stage.[51] She released her third solo studio album, In the Meantime that year.[52]

McVie was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors' Gold Badge of Merit at a ceremony held at London's Savoy Hotel in 2006.[53] That same year, Paste named McVie, together with bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, as the 83rd-greatest living songwriter or songwriting team.[54] McVie did not join her former bandmates on the band's last performance in the UK of the tour Unleashed in November 2009.[55] During the announcement of Fleetwood Mac's 2012 world tour, Stevie Nicks downplayed the likelihood of McVie ever rejoining the group: "She went to England and she has never been back since 1998 [...] as much as we would all like to think that she'll just change her mind one day, I don't think it'll happen [...] We love her, so we had to let her go."[56]

In October 2013, McVie was announced as recording a solo studio album for the first time in nine years. The album was never released.[57]

2014–2022: Return to Fleetwood Mac and album with Lindsey Buckingham

Buckingham and McVie performing live in 2017

In 2013, McVie appeared on stage in Maui, Hawaii, performing with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, which included Mick Fleetwood and ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito. This was her first appearance on stage in 15 years.[58] Later in September, Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac on stage for the first time in 15 years to play "Don't Stop" at the O2 Arena in London. She played on two dates and her appearance on stage was received with rapturous applause.[59][60] On 11 January 2014, Mick Fleetwood announced during a concert in Maui that McVie would be rejoining the band,[61] and it was officially announced two days later that she had rejoined.[62]

In August 2016, Mick Fleetwood said that while the band has "a huge amount of recorded music", virtually none of it features Stevie Nicks. Lindsey Buckingham and McVie, however, have contributed multiple songs to the new project. Fleetwood told Ultimate Classic Rock, "She [McVie] ... wrote up a storm ... She and Lindsey could probably have a mighty strong duet album if they want. In truth, I hope it will come to more than that. There really are dozens of songs. And they're really good. So we'll see."[63]

The collaborative studio album Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie was released on 9 June 2017, and was preceded by the single, "In My World". A 38-date tour began on 21 June 2017 and ended on 16 November.[64][65]

From 21 June to 27 July 2017, the duo engaged in a 14-date North American tour.[64] Eight of the album's ten tracks were played live, with the rest of the set list consisting of Fleetwood Mac songs and Buckingham solo cuts.[66][67] The Wallflowers opened for the band on select nights.[68] In June, the band appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform the album's first single, "In My World".[69] Some extra North American shows were later added in August, including one in Los Angeles and another in New York City.[70] Another North American leg began in October, which saw the addition of 22 more shows.[71]

Fleetwood Mac headlined the second night of the Classic West concert (on 16 July 2017 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles) and the second night of the Classic East concert (at New York City's Citi Field on 30 July 2017). On 9 April 2018, Fleetwood Mac announced that Mike Campbell would be joining the band along with Neil Finn to replace lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who was fired.[72]

In 2019, McVie was featured in the 90-minute BBC documentary Fleetwood Mac's Songbird – Christine McVie, directed by Matt O'Casey.[73]

Other collaborations

McVie sang with Christopher Cross on the song "Never Stop Believing" on his 1988 studio album Back of My Mind[74] as well as with Bob Welch on his solo version of "Sentimental Lady".[75]

Personal life

When McVie married John McVie in 1968, Peter Green was best man. Instead of a honeymoon, they celebrated at a hotel in Birmingham with Joe Cocker, who happened to be staying there,[76] before going off with their own separate bands. The couple divorced in 1976, but remained friends and maintained a professional partnership.[77] During the production of Rumours, she had an affair with Fleetwood Mac's lighting engineer, Curry Grant, which inspired the song "You Make Loving Fun".[32][78] From 1979 to 1982, she dated Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.[79] McVie married Portuguese keyboardist and songwriter Eddy Quintela on 18 October 1986. Quintela and McVie collaborated on a number of songs together, including "Little Lies".[80][81] They divorced in 2003, and Quintela died in 2020.[81]

During the height of Fleetwood Mac's success in the 1970s, McVie resided in Los Angeles in a house that had previously been owned by Joan Collins and by Elton John.[82] In 1990, she moved to a Grade II-listed Tudor manor house in Wickhambreaux, near Canterbury in Kent, to which she retired after leaving Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and worked on her solo material. For years, McVie found inspiration in the home's country setting, not only writing songs there, but restoring the house. However, after rejoining Fleetwood Mac in 2014, McVie began spending more time in London, and put the house on the market in 2015.[83][84]


After a brief illness, McVie died in hospital on 30 November 2022 at the age of 79.[85] Her death was announced by her family through social media. Fleetwood Mac said in a statement following her death that she was "the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life". Fellow Fleetwood Mac band member Stevie Nicks called McVie her "best friend in the whole world" in a statement following her death.[86]


With Chicken Shack

Albums with Chicken Shack, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions
40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve 1968 12
O.K. Ken? 1969 9

Solo albums

List of solo albums, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions

Christine Perfect[92] 1970 104
Christine McVie 1984 26 58 67
In the Meantime 2004 32 133
Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie (with Lindsey Buckingham) 2017 17 5

With Fleetwood Mac

Albums with Fleetwood Mac, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions
Future Games 1971 91
Bare Trees 1972 70
Penguin 1973 49
Mystery to Me 1973 67
Heroes Are Hard to Find 1974 34
Fleetwood Mac 1975 1 23
Rumours 1977 1 1
Tusk 1979 4 1
Live 1980 14 31
Mirage 1982 1 5
Tango in the Night 1987 7 1
Behind the Mask 1990 18 1
Time 1995 47
The Dance 1997 1 15

Compilation albums

List of compilation albums
Title Year
Albatross (with Fleetwood Mac) 1977
Songbird[94] 2022


List of solo singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Hot 100
US Rock
"When You Say" 1969
Christine Perfect
"I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)" 1970
"Got a Hold on Me" 1984
Christine McVie
"Love Will Show Us How"
"One in a Million" (with Steve Winwood)
"Friend" 2004
In the Meantime
"Slow Down" 2022


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  91. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 187. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  92. ^ "Billboard 200 Artists – Duo/Group". Billboard.
  93. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7.
  94. ^ "Christine McVie Details First-Ever Compilation Songbird (A Collection) | Rhino". Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  95. ^ "Christine McVie Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  96. ^ "Christine McVie Chart History: Mainstream Rock". Billboard. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  97. ^ "Christine McVie Chart History: Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved 1 December 2022.

General and cited references

External links


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