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Christine McVie

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Christine McVie (born Christine Perfect, July 12, 1943) is a keyboardist, singer, and songwriter. Her greatest fame came as a member of the band Fleetwood Mac. Born Christine Perfect (she has kept her married name in spite of her longtime divorce from John McVie because she couldn't stand having a last name like Perfect), McVie was addicted to rock and roll from the first time she looked through a Fats Domino songbook.

In 1969, McVie joined Chicken Shack, a very cut-rate group which seemed to have little chance of success. A year later she announced her plans to retire and become a housewife, oddly enough, just when the group managed to score a hit in “I’d Rather Go Blind”. She also nabbed a Melody Makers award for female vocalist of the year, and lauded for having one of the “top ten pairs of legs in all of Britain”.

Encouraged to continue her career, she recorded a solo album, Christine Perfect, which she does not feel is among her best work. McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970 just after marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie. She had already contributed backup vocals, played keyboards and painted the cover for Kiln House—the group had just lost founding member Peter Green and were nervous about touring without him. Ironically, McVie had been a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Mac, and as McVie knew all the lyrics to their songs, she went along. Christine quickly became the heart of the group, and the author of some of their finest songs, a position she would continue to hold for nearly 25 years.

The early ‘70s was a rocky time for the band, with a revolving door of guitarists and singers and only Mystery to Me and Bare Trees scoring any successes, not to mention a group impersonating Fleetwood Mac touring the United States without their permission.

In 1974, McVie reluctantly agreed to move to the US and make a fresh start. Within a year, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined and breathed new life into the material. Their first album together, 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, had a number of hits, with Christine’s “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me”, both cracking Billboard’s top 20 singles’ chart.

In 1976 she wrote “You Make Loving Fun”, a top-ten hit on the landmark smash Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Her biggest hit was “Don’t Stop”, which climbed all the way to number three and has become identified forever as the song Bill Clinton played on the Presidential campaign trail and at his 1993 Inaugural Gala (Christine and the others performed there as well as the Super Bowl a few days later).

The 1979 double-album, Tusk, produced two more top 20 hits (“Tusk” and “Think About Me”), but was considered a disappointment as nothing could top the huge success of the Rumours album. The group reunited three years later to record Mirage, which contained the top-five hit, “Hold Me”, which was also the group’s first music video; McVie’s inspiration for the song was her tortured relationship with Beach Boys’ member Dennis Wilson. Wilson drowned a few years later, breaking McVie’s heart.

In 1984 McVie decided to take a risk and finally record a solo album, as most of the other band members had done. She snagged hits with the songs, “Got a Hold on Me” and “Love Will Show Us How”. The synthesizer-heavy tracks were somewhat jarring in contrast to the crisp and clear tones of the singer.

After covering the Elvis Presley standard, "Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” for the Howie Mandel film, A Fine Mess, she rejoined the Mac to record Tango in the Night. Her voice had never been better and she had one of her biggest hits, and one of the more widely played songs of the era, “Little Lies”.

In 1990 the group, minus Lindsey Buckingham, recorded Behind the Mask, but the sales were sluggish and the singles were only marginally successful. McVie had always been reluctant to tour, preferring to stay close to home with friends and family, and she refused to do any touring at all for the group’s 1995 effort, Time. The album, minus Buckingham (who had left in 1987) or Nicks (who had left several years later) was a flop.

The group seemed to have gone their separate ways until John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham got together for one of Fleetwood’s solo projects. They convinced McVie to record and tour with them one last time. The album, 1997’s The Dance, went to number one on the charts. McVie complied with their touring schedule, and performed for the group’s 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but has since retired from any Fleetwood Mac activities. She was delighted to receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Music from The University of Greenwich, UK, in 2000. In December 2003 she went to see Fleetwood Mac's last show in London, but didn’t get up on stage. She lives in the south of England and rarely leaves her countryside home.

In mid-2004 she released a new solo album, In the Meantime, her third in a career spanning five decades.


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