After a brief illness, Christine McVie died in hospital on 30 November 2022 at the age of 79. Her death was announced by her family through social media. Fleetwood Mac said in a statement following her death that she was "the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life". Fellow Fleetwood Mac band member Stevie Nicks called McVie her "best friend in the whole world" in a statement following her death.
She was an English songwriter, keyboardist and one of the vocalists of Fleetwood Mac.
She was invited to join Fleetwood Mac as a keyboard player in 1970 after the departure of founding member Peter Green, having already contributed piano and backing vocals, uncredited, to their next album, Kiln House and provided the artwork for the sleeve. The band had been struggling to manage without Green and had needed another musician to fill out their sound. McVie had been a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac and learned the songs for the new album during rehearsals.
McVie became an integral member of Fleetwood Mac as keyboard player, songwriter and female lead vocalist.
The first studio album on which McVie played as a full band member was Future Games in 1971. This was also the first album on which she worked with American guitarist and songwriter Bob Welch, who had replaced founding member Jeremy Spencer.
In 1974, McVie moved with the rest of Fleetwood Mac to California, where Welch left after a final album, Heroes are Hard to Find, and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Buckingham Nicks joined the band. The line-up now contained two female lead vocalists who also wrote songs. McVie bonded instantly with Nicks and the two women found their voices blended perfectly. McVie wrote and sang lead on four tracks on the first studio album of the new line-up, Fleetwood Mac (1975): "Warm Ways", "Over My Head", "Say You Love Me" and "Sugar Daddy", and had a joint songwriting credit with Buckingham for "World Turning". The album produced several hit songs, with McVie's "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me" both reaching the Billboard top-20 singles chart. "Over My Head" put Fleetwood Mac on American radio and into the national top 20.
By the end of the Rumours tour the McVies were divorced. Christine had a US top-20 hit with "Think About Me" from the 1979 double studio album Tusk, which did not match the success of the Rumours album. After the Tusk tour the band took time apart, reuniting in 1981 to record the studio album Mirage at the Château d'Hérouville's studio in France. Mirage, 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. Her song "Love in Store" became the third single from the album, peaking at number 22 in early 1983.
McVie's second solo studio album, Christine McVie, recorded in 1984, 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 said of the 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."
McVie married keyboardist Eddy Quintela on 18 October 1986 and they co-wrote songs which featured on subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums. She rejoined Fleetwood Mac in 1987 to record the Tango in the Night studio album, which became the band's biggest success since Rumours and reached the top five in the UK and US. McVie's "Little Lies", co-written with Quintela, was the biggest hit from the album. Another McVie single from the album, "Everywhere", reached number four in the UK, the band's third-highest UK chart peak. The single peaked at number 14 in the U.S. In 1990, the band (now without Buckingham) recorded Behind the Mask. The album reached Gold status in the US and McVie's song "Save Me" made the US top 40. The album entered the UK album chart at number one and reached Platinum status. McVie's "Skies the Limit", the second US single from the album, was a hit on the adult contemporary chart.
McVie's father, Cyril Perfect, died in 1990 while she was on the Behind the Mask tour and she decided to retire from touring. She remained with the band and wrote and recorded a new track, "Love Shines", for the 1992 box set 25 Years – The Chain, and five songs for the 1995 studio album Time. Nicks had by now departed. In the mid-90s, Fleetwood and John McVie worked with Buckingham on one of his solo projects and Christine McVie provided vocals and keyboards on some of the tracks. A reunion was proposed, Nicks rejoined the band, and Fleetwood Mac recorded the 1997 live album, The Dance, which reached number one on the US album charts. McVie returned to touring and 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. She decided not to continue with Fleetwood Mac after 1998.
She released her third solo studio album, In the Meantime, in 2003.
The collaborative studio 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.