Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie dies at 79

Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac as a singer and pianist in 1970 after marrying bassist John McVie following a courtship of two weeks. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Singer-songwriter Christine McVie, a member of British-American band Fleetwood Mac, died on Wednesday aged 79, her family said in a statement posted on her official Facebook page.

Fleetwood Mac, whose name was inspired by the surnames of its founders - bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood - formed in 1967 but had many members come and go over the years.

Born Christine Perfect in north-west England on July 12, 1943, Christine McVie joined the band as a singer and pianist in 1970 after marrying John following a courtship of two weeks.

She ultimately left him to live with a lighting technician.

The band’s 1977 album Rumours, which sold more than 40 million copies and is one of the best-selling albums of all time, was recorded as the couple were divorcing.

She released a solo collection, Songbird, earlier this year.

McVie’s family said she died peacefully in hospital on Wednesday after a short illness.

“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,” the statement said.

Rumours included the hit songs Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow), Go Your Own Way, The Chain, You Make Loving Fun and Gold Dust Woman, and was a fixture on the charts for 134 weeks, spending 31 weeks at No. 1.

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Fleetwood Mac’s origins were in the Bluesbreakers, the landmark British blues band that was led by John Mayall and that at times featured Eric Clapton on guitar.

Fleetwood Mac relocated to California and soon made key additions in 1975, bringing in Americans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks and turning it into an Anglo-American pop juggernaut.

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In a statement posted on Twitter, Fleetwood Mac said McVie was “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,” the band said.

“She will be so very missed.” REUTERS

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