In November, the music world lost one of its most cherished voices: Christine McVie, the singer-songwriter at the heart of many of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest songs, died at age 79.
At the time, the musician’s family’ stated that she died of a “short illness” but no further details were given. Now, her cause of death has finally been revealed.
Christine McVie death
McVie, born Christine Perfect, died on November 30, 2022, at the age of 79. Her family shared the news, saying she died of a “short illness” “in the company of her family.”
“We would like everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and revered musician who was loved universally,” their statement said.
Fleetwood Mac also released their statement, calling her “truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure.”
“She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life. We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”
The band’s individual members also paid their own tributes to McVie. Mick Fleetwood delivered a eulogy at her memorial on January 9.
“When we first learned that we might be losing Christine, there was an immediate coming together of everyone in the band and the Fleetwood Mac family with the hope and possibility that we would not lose Chris,” the drummer said, according to his Instagram post. “Since the loss of Christine, we are still trying to come to terms with the fact she has flown away.”
“I think she would have been truly amazed at all the attention and celebrations of her music around the world in total disbelief at the fact they were closing down sporting events to pay tribute to her. But that was our Christine – she was a North country girl from beginning to end never caring about the fluff. Again, it was Christing who gifted so much to millions around the world.
“She is being remembered Everywhere, Just as her song says, ‘I want to be with you everywhere’ and she is.”
Stevie Nicks also paid tribute to her late bandmate during her March 10 concert with Billy Joel, the first since McVie’s death. Nicks played her iconic song “Landslide” as a beautiful slideshow of McVie played.
“There’s not much to say,” Nicks said at the end of the performance. “We just pretend that she’s still here, that’s how I’m trying to deal with it.”
At the time, no further details were given about McVie’s cause of death or what health battles she was suffering, although the musician did indicate she was in ill health.
In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, McVie said that Fleetwood Mac had no plans for another reunion and if they did she would not “physically be up for it.”
“I’m in quite bad health. I’ve got a chronic back problem that debilitates me, she told Rolling Stone. “I stand up to play the piano, so I don’t know if I could physically do it. What’s that saying? The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The cause of death revealed
Recently, months after her death, McVie’s cause of death has finally been revealed.
The singer’s death certificate was obtained by The Blast, who reports that she died of a “massive stroke” after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer.
The certificate says her cause of death was an “ischaemic stroke” while cancer, “metastatic malignancy of unknown primary origin,” was listed as a secondary cause.
It also said she was suffering from atrial fibrillation, and that after her death she was cremated.
According to The Blast, the singer’s death certificate was revealed in court documents filed to settle her estate. The filings indicated that her fortune was worth over $50 million. McVie was not married and did not have children, leaving her brother and his children as her sole heirs.
Christine McVie – life and Career
McVie was born on July 12, 1943, in Lancashire, England. She began studying piano from an early age, and as a teenager decided to shift from classical music to rock and roll music.
McVie began her career in a blues band called Chicken Shack, as a keyboardist and backup vocalist.
She married bassist John McVie in 1969 and left Chicken Shack to join her husband’s band Fleetwood Mac, which had formed in 1967. Christine became a full member of the group beginning with their 1971 album Future Games.
McVie remained a major creative force for the band even as it underwent several changes to the lineup. But after a move to the United States and the joining of members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac was on its way to becoming one of the defining bands of its era.
This lineup’s first album, 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, was a hit, and two of McVie’s contributions, “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me,” appeared on the charts.
Their next album, Rumours, is one of the best-selling albums of all time and is widely regarded as a classic of popular music. McVie’s songs on the smash album include “You Make Loving Fun,” “Don’t Stop” and “Songbird.”
While at their creative and commercial peak, Fleetwood Mac also faced a great deal of infighting and personal tumult, and the McVies divorced in 1976.
But McVie remained a creative powerhouse for the band and was acclaimed for her easy vocals and songwriting talents. Other notable hits from McVie include “Little Lies” and “Everywhere,” both from Tango in the Night.
She also released three solo albums. After 30 years with Fleetwood Mac, McVie retired from the band in 1998, although she reunited with the group for a tour in 2014.
As part of Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and won two Grammy Awards.
Rest in peace to the incredible Christine McVie — such a beautiful voice and songwriting talent. She will forever be remembered through her music.
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