Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks have paid tribute to the ‘one and only’ Christine McVie following the Fleetwood Mac star’s death aged 79.
Nicks mourned the loss of her “best friend in the whole world,” while Fleetwood said part of his heart “flew away” after the news.
McVie’s family confirmed her death after a short illness on Wednesday.
Fleetwood Mac released a joint statement, although Fleetwood and Nicks later posted their own personal messages on social media.
“This is a day my dear sweet friend Christine McVie fled, leaving us earthbound people to listen with bated breath to the sounds of this ‘songbird’ reminding everyone that love is all around us is to grasp little touches in this precious life that has been given to us,” wrote Fleetwood.
“Part of my heart flew away today… I will miss everything about you Christine McVie.
“Memories abound… they fly to me. Mick Fleetwood.”
Nicks said she wasn’t aware McVie was ill until Saturday night and plans to visit her in London.
“A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world has passed away since the first day of 1975,” she wrote in a heartfelt post on Instagram.
“I didn’t even know she was sick … until late Saturday night. I wanted to be in London, I wanted to come to London – but we were told to wait.
“Well, since Saturday, a song has been buzzing through my head over and over again. I thought maybe I could sing it to her, so I’m singing it to her now.
“I always knew I would need those words someday… It’s all I can do now.”
Nicks then shared the handwritten lyrics of Haim’s song Hallelujah, adding: “See you on the other side my love. Do not forget me. Always, Stevie.”
The British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac was formed in London in 1967 and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making it one of the most successful groups in history.
Her best known songs include Dreams, Go Your Own Way and Everywhere.
Despite their turbulent history, Fleetwood Mac became one of the most well-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, consisting of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks.
Perhaps their best-known album, Rumors, released in 1977, became one of the best-selling of all time and included hits like “Second Hand News” and “You Make Loving Fun.”
In addition to several multi-platinum titles, the record sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
A statement from the band on Twitter described McVie as “truly unique, special and talented beyond measure”.
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the death of Christine McVie. She was truly one of a kind, special and talented beyond measure,” the statement said.
“She was the best musician you could have in your band and the best friend you could have in your life.
“We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and collectively, we treasured Christine immensely and are grateful for the amazing memories we have. She will be missed so much.”
Singer-songwriter and keyboardist McVie wrote Songbird, one of the band’s most celebrated tracks, as well as You Make Loving Fun, Oh Daddy and Little Lies.
Duran Duran bassist John Taylor said McVie “exuded both purity and cheekiness in equal measure”.
“So sad to hear from Christine McVie, an artist who is very close to my heart,” Taylor posted on the band’s account.
“One of the greatest songwriters, singers and band members of all time, she exuded purity and sass in equal measure, shedding light on ’70s music. REST IN PEACE. -John.”
Another tribute came from US musician Sheryl Crow, who wrote: “So sad to hear that Christine McVie is going to heaven.
“The world feels weird without her. What a legend and icon and amazing human being. REST IN PEACE.”
In 1970, McVie released her first solo album, Christine Perfect, after her maiden name. In an interview earlier this year, she told Uncut magazine, “There might be some good songs on there.”
It took McVie another 14 years to release a follow-up solo album entitled Christine McVie before releasing another album In The Meantime in 2004.
In June this year, the singer-songwriter released another album titled Songbird, a collection of songs from two of her previous solo albums.
She was among eight members of the band inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
McVie left the band in 1998 after nearly three decades, but rejoined in 2014 when a one-off gig at the O2 reignited her love of performing.
She told the Guardian at the time: “It was amazing, like I’d never been away. I got back in and there they were, same old faces on stage.”
In 2017 she appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and revealed that she had become withdrawn from the world and developed agoraphobia after leaving the band and moving to Kent from California.
McVie’s death comes two years after the death of Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green at the age of 73.
A statement from her family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of Christine’s passing. She passed away peacefully in hospital this morning, Wednesday 30th November 2022, after 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 want everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being and adored musician who was loved by all.”