Christine McVie

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Christine McVie
Christine McVie 2019.jpg
McVie in 2019
Born
Christine Anne Perfect

(1943-07-12) 12 July 1943 (age 79)
Bouth, Lancashire, England
Other namesChristine Perfect
Occupation
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active
  • 1967 (1967)–1998 (1998)
  • 2004 (2004)
  • 2013 (2013)–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 1968; div. 1976)

Eduardo Quintela
(m. 1986; div. 2003)
Musical career
Genres
Instrument(s)
  • Keyboards
  • vocals
Labels
Member ofFleetwood Mac
Signature
Christine McVie signature.svg

Christine Anne McVie (born Christine Perfect on 12 July 1943)[1][2][3] is an English musician, and the co-lead vocalist[4] and keyboardist of Fleetwood Mac, which she joined in 1970.[5] She has also released three solo albums. Her direct but poignant lyrics focus on love and relationships. AllMusic describes her as an "Unabashedly easy-on-the-ears singer/songwriter, and the prime mover behind some of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits."[6] Eight of her songs appeared on Fleetwood Mac's 1988 Greatest Hits album.[7]

In 1998, McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac, and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The same year, after almost 30 years with the band, she opted to leave and lived in semiretirement for nearly 15 years. She released a solo album in 2004. In September 2013, she appeared on stage with Fleetwood Mac at London's O2 Arena. She rejoined the band in 2014 prior to their On with the Show tour.[8]

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

Early life[edit]

McVie was born in the Lake District village of Bouth, Lancashire, and grew up in the Bearwood area of Smethwick near Birmingham. 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 was an organist at Westminster Abbey.[13]

Although McVie was introduced to the piano when she was four, she did not study music seriously until age 11, when she was reintroduced to it by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of McVie's older brother, John.[14] Continuing her classical training until age 15, McVie shifted her musical focus to rock and roll when her brother, John, came home with a Fats Domino songbook.[15] Other early influences included The Everly Brothers.[16]

Early music[edit]

McVie studied sculpture at Moseley School of Art in Birmingham[17] for five years, with the goal of becoming an art teacher. During that time, she met a number of budding musicians in Britain's blues scene.[14] Her first foray into the music field came when she met two friends, Stan Webb and Andy Silvester, who were in a band called Sounds Of Blue. Knowing that McVie had musical talent, they asked her to join.[18] She often sang with Spencer Davis. By the time McVie graduated from art college, Sounds of Blue had split up, and as 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.[18]

Chicken Shack[edit]

In 1967, McVie learned that her ex-bandmates, Andy Silvester and Stan Webb, were forming a blues band, Chicken Shack, and were looking for a pianist. She wrote to them asking to join. They accepted and invited her to play keyboards/piano and to sing background vocals. Chicken Shack's debut release was "It's Okay With Me Baby", written by and featuring McVie.[18] She stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums, during which her genuine feel for the blues became evident, not only in her Sonny Thompson-style piano playing, but also through her authentic "bluesy" voice.[19] Chicken Shack had a hit with "I'd Rather Go Blind", which featured McVie on lead vocals.[20] McVie received a Melody Maker award for female vocalist in both 1969 and 1970. McVie left Chicken Shack in 1969 after marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie a year earlier.[citation needed]

Fleetwood Mac[edit]

McVie in 1977

McVie was a fan of Fleetwood Mac, and while touring with Chicken Shack, the two bands would often meet. They also were both signed to Blue Horizon, and Fleetwood Mac had asked her to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green's songs on the band's second album, Mr. Wonderful.[21]

Encouraged to continue her career, McVie recorded a solo 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 backup vocals and painted the cover for Kiln House. The band had just lost founding member Peter Green, and its members were nervous about touring without him. 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.[22]

McVie went on to become an integral member, another lead vocalist, and keyboardist of the group; the first album with her as a full-fledged band member was Future Games. It was recorded at London's Advision Studios and included the first with American-born member Bob Welch in place of founding member Jeremy Spencer. Danny Kirwan was still in the band at this point, but he was fired in 1972 after an incident on tour where he refused to perform at a gig after a row with Welch.

The early 1970s was a rocky time for the band, with a revolving door of musicians, and only the albums Bare Trees and Mystery to Me were successful.[23] 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.[24]

In 1974, McVie reluctantly agreed to move with the rest of Fleetwood Mac to the United States. Within a year, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Buckingham Nicks joined the band, giving it an added dimension. Their first 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.[25]

In 1976, McVie began an on-the-road affair with the band's lighting director,[26] which inspired her to write "You Make Loving Fun", a top-10 hit on the landmark smash Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all time. Her biggest hit was "Don't Stop", which reached number three. The Rumours tour also included McVie's "Songbird", a ballad played as the encore of many Fleetwood Mac concerts.

By the end of the Rumours tour, the McVies were divorced. The 1979 double 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.[27] The Tusk tour continued into 1980, after which the band took time apart. They reunited in 1981 to record the 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.[28] Her song, "Love in Store", became the third single from the album peaking at number 22 in early 1983.[29]

Recorded in 1984, her second solo 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 is 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."[30]

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 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.).[31] In 1990, the band (now without Lindsey Buckingham) recorded Behind the Mask, but the album only reached Gold status in the U.S.,[32] and only McVie's song "Save Me" made the U.S. top 40. The album did enter the UK album chart at number one and reached Platinum status there. The second US single release from the album, McVie's "Skies the Limit", did not make the top 100, but did reach number 10 on the adult contemporary chart.

Upon the death of her father, Cyril Perfect, while she was touring for Behind the Mask, McVie decided to retire from touring.[33] Despite the departure of Stevie Nicks, McVie remained with the band, writing and recording a new track ("Love Shines") for the 1992 boxed set 25 Years – The Chain, and five songs for the band's 1995 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 live album, The Dance, reached number one on the US album charts.

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.[33] In 2006, Paste named McVie, together with bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, as the 83rd-greatest living songwriter or songwriting team.[34]

Hiatus from Fleetwood Mac and semiretirement (1998–2014)[edit]

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.[35] Five years after leaving Fleetwood Mac, McVie and Quintela divorced.[36]

In a 2004 interview, McVie admitted to not listening much to pop music anymore and stated, instead, a preference for Classic FM.[37][38] In December 2003, McVie 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.[39] Mid-2004 had the release of McVie's new solo album, In the Meantime, her third in a career spanning five decades. Recording in her converted barn in Kent, she worked on the project with her nephew, Dan Perfect, who contributed guitar-playing, backing vocals, and songwriting. No tour was organised to promote this album; instead, McVie conducted several press interviews in both Britain and the United States.

In 2006, McVie was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors' Gold Badge of Merit at a ceremony held at London's Savoy Hotel.[40] In November 2009, McVie did not join her former bandmates on the band's last performance in the UK of the tour Unleashed.[41] 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."[42]

In October 2013, McVie was announced as recording a solo album for the first time in nine years. The album is yet to be released.[43]

Return to Fleetwood Mac and album with Lindsey Buckingham (2014–present)[edit]

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.[44] 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, London. She played on two dates and her appearance on stage was received with rapturous applause.[45][46] On 11 January 2014, Mick Fleetwood announced during a concert in Maui that McVie would be rejoining the band,[47] and it was officially announced two days later that she had rejoined.[48] The band's most popular lineup (Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks) performed together for the first time since 1998 in its On with the Show tour beginning in Minneapolis at the Target Center on 30 September 2014.

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."[49]

Buckingham and McVie performing live in 2017

The 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.[50][51] The album was originally planned as a Fleetwood Mac album. Stevie Nicks did not participate due to her preference for a solo tour with The Pretenders.

From 21 June to 27 July 2017, the duo engaged in a 14-date North American tour.[50] 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.[52][53] The Wallflowers opened for the band on select nights.[54] In June, the band appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform the album's first single, "In My World".[55] Some extra North American shows were later added in August, including one in Los Angeles and another in New York City.[56] Another North American leg began in October, which saw the addition of 22 more shows.[57]

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.[58]

In 2019 McVie was featured in the 90-minute BBC documentary Fleetwood Mac's Songbird - Christine McVie, directed by Matt O'Casey.[59]

Personal life[edit]

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,[60] before going off with their own separate bands. The couple divorced in 1976 but have remained friends and maintained a professional partnership.[61] 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".[62][63] From 1979 to 1982, she dated Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.[64] 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".[65][66] They divorced in 2003, and Quintela died in 2020.[67]

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 Elton John.[68] In 1990, she moved to a Grade II-listed Tudor manor house in Wickhambreaux, 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.[69][70]

Collaborations[edit]

McVie sang with Dennis Wilson on his song "Love Surrounds Me" for The Beach Boys' 1979 album L.A. (Light Album). She also sang with Christopher Cross on the song "Never Stop Believing" on his 1988 album Back of My Mind, as well as with Bob Welch on his solo version of "Sentimental Lady". McVie released an album with fellow Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham titled Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie on 9 June 2017.

Discography[edit]

With Chicken Shack[edit]

Year Album UK Albums Chart[71]
1968 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve 12
1969 O.K. Ken? 9

Solo albums[edit]

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200 U.S. Independent Albums UK Albums Chart[72] AUS[73]
1970 Christine Perfect[74] 104
1984 Christine McVie 26 58 67
2004 In the Meantime 32 133
2017 Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie (with Lindsey Buckingham) 17 5

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album
1977 Albatross (with Fleetwood Mac)
2022 Songbird[75]

Singles[edit]

Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Rock U.S. AC AUS[73] Album
1969 "When You Say"
Christine Perfect
1970 "I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)"
1984 "Got a Hold on Me"
10
1
1
55
Christine McVie
"Love Will Show Us How"
30
24
32
"One in a Million" (with Steve Winwood)
27
2004 "Friend"
29
In the Meantime
2022 "Slow Down"
Songbird

With Fleetwood Mac[edit]

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200 UK Albums Chart[76]
1971 Future Games 91
1972 Bare Trees 70
1973 Penguin 49
1973 Mystery to Me 67
1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find 34
1975 Fleetwood Mac 1 23
1977 Rumours 1 1
1979 Tusk 4 1
1980 Live 14 31
1982 Mirage 1 5
1987 Tango in the Night 7 1
1990 Behind the Mask 18 1
1995 Time 47
1997 The Dance 1 15

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External links[edit]