Christine McVie, part of the popular band Fleetwood Mac, has died at age 79.
Her family made the announcement on social media Wednesday without specifying what illness caused her death.
The band released this statement: “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie. She 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. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”
The band last toured in 2018 and 2019, making a visit to State Farm Arena. At the time, Lindsey Buckingham was not in the band, replaced by Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.
>>RELATED: My review of the last Fleetwood Mac concert featuring McVie in 2019
In June, McVie told Rolling Stone magazine that she was unsure if the band would ever get back together again. “I’m in quite bad health,” she said. “I’ve got a chronic back problem which debilitates me. I stand up to play the piano, so I don’t know if I could actually physically do it. What’s that saying? The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
She was a key part of the band since she joined in 1970, co-writing or writing many of the band’s classic hits including “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Hold Me,” “Little Lies” and “Everywhere.”
McVie was also the calm center in a band that was once known for its tumultuous internal relationships.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2017 to promote a Chastain show with Buckingham, McVie said she was well aware of her reputation as peace maker between Stevie Nicks and Buckingham.
“I’m often described as Mother Earth in that way,” McVie said, “especially by Stevie because I seem to be sort of the soft padding between them both. There’s Lindsey on one side and Stevie on the other. I’m the buffer.”
McVie took a break from the band between 1998 and 2014 after a fear of flying debilitated her.
She was eventually able to overcome that for a triumphant reunion tour with the other four key band members from the “Rumours” days in 2014 and 2015, including two stops at Philips Arena.
“It was such a joyous occasion,” she said in 2017. “I could speak for all of us. First of all, they wanted me back. And I wanted more than anything in the world to come back. Every night, the floor boards on the stage were virtually screeching with electricity. We all felt it. We just loved every single gig. We had such a blast. The audience response was so great. They gave us energy. They gave us adrenaline. And we gave it right back.”
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com