Stevie Nicks Through the Years: Fleetwood Mac, Solo Success and More

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Stevie Nicks is a legendary American rock singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the band Fleetwood Mac. One of the best-selling musical acts of all time, Nicks is a pioneer female rock musician who found success in the male-dominated music industry.

She was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1948 and wrote her very first song at the age of 16. Meanwhile, Stevie was a senior in high school in Arcadia, California, where she also joined her first band, the Changing Times.

Nicks, later on, moved to Northern Califonia where she met Lindsey Buckingham. The two of them have a notorious history together. When both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were enrolled in California’s Menlo-Atherton High School in 1968, their paths first crossed. Buckingham was a senior, while Nicks was a freshman. Buckingham was a member of the Fritz band at the time, which was well-known in the neighborhood music scene. Nicks quickly joined the group, and they started to get along. They both had a long-lasting beginning to their musical careers, as well as occasional romantic relationships.

Stevie even recalled meeting Lindsey for the very first time. It was during her interview with MTV in 2009. She stated, “We were at some get-together and he was there, sitting, playing his guitar — ‘California Dreamin’ — and I walked up and brazenly burst into harmony with him. It was cool, and I said, ‘I’m Stevie Nicks’ and he said, ‘I’m Lindsey Buckingham.’ I never saw him again for two years until he was in a band, and he remembered that night and he called and asked me to join their band.”

Even though that band, Fritz, disbanded in 1972, the two musicians’ careers had just begun. They joined Fleetwood Mac, which had been started by Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Mick Fleetwood over ten years previously, in 1975. When Nicks and Buckingham joined the band, Green and Spencer had already left.

The era of Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac was a magical one that produced some of the band’s most iconic songs. Nicks’ time with Fleetwood Mac saw the group expand its sound, with a blend of folk, rock, and country influences. Nicks’ ethereal voice and knack for creating lush soundscapes also helped to make their music unique. Along with her powerful writing, Nicks also had an impressive stage presence that further captivated audiences.

Many of Fleetwood Mac’s albums went multiplatinum at this time, which contributed to their enormous success. Stevie Nicks’ time with Fleetwood Mac is still regarded as a crucial and formative time for the band as well as for her career, even though she eventually left the group in 1987 to pursue a solo career.

She also talked about Buckingham and her relationship while being in Fleetwood Mac. While talking with The New Yorker in 2022, she said, “We’d only been in Fleetwood Mac for a year and a half, and we were breaking up when we joined Fleetwood Mac. So, we just put our relationship kind of back together, because I was smart enough to know that, if we had broken up the second month of being in Fleetwood Mac, it would have blown the whole thing. I just bided my time, and tried to make everything as easy as possible, tried to be as sweet and as nice to Lindsey as I could be. He wasn’t happy, either. Then something happened that was, you know, ‘We’re done.’ And he knew it. It was time. And the band was solid, by that time, so I could walk away knowing that he was safe. And that the band was safe. And that we could work it out.”

The author of “Rhiannon,” still a member of Fleetwood Mac, debuted her solo career in 1981 with Bella Donna. After three months after its release, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. It produced the smash songs “Edge of Seventeen” and “When the Glitter Fades.” The album was a massive success, reaching number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling over five million copies, and earning her several Grammy Award nominations. Nicks would go on to release eight more studio albums, including Rock a Little, The Other Side of the Mirror, Street Angel, and In Your Dreams, all of which received critical acclaim and commercial success.

Nicks was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. She earned one back in 1998 with Fleetwood Mac and in 2019 for her solo work. She is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame as well. She has also received multiple nominations, including for Grammy, MTV, and American Music Awards, and her songs have been used in a wide range of movies and television programs. Nicks, who is currently regarded as one of the most significant female musicians in music history, keeps on touring and giving sold-out shows.


stevie nicks and lindsey bukingham

Nicks and Buckingham started dating when they met during Nicks’ senior year at Menlo-Atherton High School. Later on, Buckingham invited Nicks to join his band Fritz, and they eventually began working together on music.


The songwriter of “Landslide” and the guitarist collaborated on their sole duet album, called Buckingham Nicks. Despite their effort, the album was not well-received commercially and it has never been made available on CD.


fleetwood mac in their early days

After joining forces with Buckingham, Nicks became a member of Fleetwood Mac, and with the exception of a short period in the mid-1990s, she has been a constant presence in the band ever since.


In 1977, Fleetwood Mac released their eleventh album, Rumours, which is now regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. Around the same time, Nicks, who had separated from Buckingham, had a romantic relationship with Fleetwood, who was married to Jenny Boyd at the time.


During her romantic involvement with Don Henley, the Grammy-winning artist became pregnant and later had an abortion. In an October 2020 interview with The Guardian, she stated that if she had not gone through with the abortion, Fleetwood Mac may not have existed, given the intense workload and drug use at the time. She believed that the band’s music had the power to heal and make people happy and that having a child would have prevented her from pursuing that mission. She also noted that Fleetwood Mac was unique in having two female lead singers and songwriters.


stevie nicks

After her success with Fleetwood Mac, Nicks launched her solo career with the release of her first album, Bella Donna. The following year, she was nominated for her first solo Grammy Award in the category of Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for her hit song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”


The singer of “If Anyone Falls” dropped her second solo album, titled The Wild Heart. As part of her promotional efforts for the record, she made an appearance on an episode of Saturday Night Live in December where she performed “Stand Back” and “Nightbird.”


Nicks sought treatment for her cocaine addiction at the Betty Ford Center in California. Later on, in 1993, she returned to rehab due to her struggles with addiction to Klonopin.


leather and lace

The singer known for “Leather and Lace” was first inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac.


Nicks, during her time with Fleetwood Mac, received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award as a recognition for her work.


stevie nicks with tom petty

The artist from Arizona went on tour with Tom Petty, who had collaborated with her on the 1981 hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” performing a duet together.


The artist made her first acting appearance on the TV show American Horror Story: Coven, playing a witchier version of herself. She later returned to the show and reprised her role on American Horror Story: Apocalypse in 2018.


The artist behind “Talk to Me” went on the 24 Karat Gold Tour to promote her eighth solo album, titled 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault.


Stevie Nicks

The artist was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time, this time as a solo artist. During the ceremony, Harry Styles introduced her and referred to her as a “magical gypsy godmother who occupies the in-between.”


The rock legend began a co-headlining tour with Billy Joel.

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