Stevie Nicks

4 pieces
By popularity
By popularity
Stevie Nicks (born May 26, 1948, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.) American singer-songwriter known for her work with pop-rock band Fleetwood Mac as well as for her solo efforts. Nicks’s ethereal stage presence, powerful songwriting, and low, rich vocals established her as a leading musical artist.

Early life
Nicks was born to Barbara and Jess Nicks and has a younger brother. As a toddler she couldn’t pronounce her given name of Stephanie, leading to the nickname “Stevie” that would become her hallmark. Nicks was born in Arizona, but the Nicks family moved frequently during her childhood for her father’s work, and when she was a teen they moved to California. Nicks attended Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, along with future Fleetwood Mac guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham. Nicks recalls singing an impromptu performance of “California Dreamin’” with Buckingham at a church gathering while they were in high school.

While Nicks was in college at nearby San Jose State University, she was invited to join Buckingham’s band, Fritz, which played psychedelic, bluesy rock. Nicks and Buckingham left Fritz in the early 1970s with plans to move to Los Angeles and form a musical duo called Buckingham Nicks; they also solidified their romantic relationship upon leaving the band. Signed by record label Polydor Records, they released a self-titled album in 1973 that was minimally successful, and Nicks worked as a cleaner and waitress to support both of them. Though Polydor dropped the artists, their music caught the attention of Fleetwood Mac drummer and cofounder Mick Fleetwood, who invited Buckingham to join the band. Buckingham stipulated that Nicks receive an invitation as well, and the two joined Fleetwood Mac at the beginning of 1975.

Fleetwood Mac

Since its inception in 1967, Fleetwood Mac had released numerous albums without attracting much attention and experienced significant turnover. When Nicks and Buckingham joined, the band’s members included Fleetwood on drums, Christine McVie on keyboard and vocals, and John McVie on bass guitar. In 1975 Fleetwood Mac put out a self-titled album. Nicks wrote and sang some of the album’s most famous songs, including “Rhiannon.”

Nicks’s songwriting has received extensive acclaim. She wrote many of Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic tracks, such as “Dreams,” “Landslide,” and “Gypsy.” Her romance with Buckingham fueled many of her compositions. The pair broke up in advance of Fleetwood Mac’s seminal album Rumours (1977), and their acrimonious split inspired much of the record’s content. “Dreams,” a song Nicks composed in ten minutes and that became the band’s lone U.S. chart-topping hit, describes Nicks’s wish to move on from the relationship. “Silver Springs,” released as the B-side of a single, targeted Buckingham directly; Nicks termed it a song of “love and revenge.” Buckingham also penned several songs about Nicks for the album, including “Go Your Own Way.” The pair became notorious for their emotionally charged duets during the 1977–78 Rumours tour. In 1977 Nicks and Fleetwood had an affair, which she would also chronicle in some of her songs, including “Storms” on the band’s 1979 album Tusk.

Nicks’s voice was distinctive for its sonorous, aching quality. By turns husky and plaintive, a constant soulfulness underscored her wide range. Nicks’s captivating stage presence further contributed to her success. Onstage, Nicks presented an ethereal mystique tinged with the occult, rife with feathery shawls and breathy comments. She wandered the stage during performances, particularly during numbers sung by other members of the band.

Fleetwood Mac released more albums throughout the 1980s, including Mirage (1982), and Tango in the Night (1987), while Nicks also began to issue solo music. In 1990, Nicks left Fleetwood Mac to focus on her solo career. Nicks has admitted to extensive drug use through the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, including multiple attempts at rehabilitation centers. She has said that she is now sober.

Solo career and Fleetwood Mac reunion

During her Fleetwood Mac days, Nicks had released several solo albums, including Bella Donna (1981), which featured the rock and roll staple “Edge of Seventeen” and duets with Tom Petty (“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”) and Don Henley (“Leather and Lace”). In 1983, Nicks married her longtime friend Kim Anderson but divorced him within months. That same year her album The Wild Heart, which featured collaborations with Petty and Prince, debuted to widespread success. Her other solo albums included Rock a Little (1985), The Other Side of the Mirror (1989), and Street Angel (1994).

In 1993 Nicks reunited with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours-era lineup for a performance in honor of U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Four years later the musicians regrouped to create a live album called The Dance (1997) and undertake a world tour. Nicks teamed up with Buckingham, Fleetwood, and John McVie in 2003 to create the album Say You Will, though Christine McVie did not participate. McVie returned to the group in 2014, Fleetwood Mac toured intermittently until 2019. In the years since, Nicks has toured as a solo artist and along with other musicians.

Stevie Nicks was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other members of Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and as a solo artist in 2019.