Christine McVie, a vocalist, songwriter and keyboardist best known as a member of the massively popular rock band Fleetwood Mac has died at the age of 79, according to an announcement from her family and bandmates. McVie died in the hospital this Wednesday morning after a “short illness” according to her family, who request privacy at this time.

“She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure,” the statement by Fleetwood Mac read in part. “She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life.” McVie was a member of the band from the early-70s to her semiretirement in 1998, and then became an active member of the band once again in 2014.

As a songwriter, McVie penned several of the band’s biggest hits including “Don’t Stop,” “Everywhere,” “Little Lies” and “You Make Loving Fun,” which was apparently about her on-the-road affair with the band’s lighting director while married to bandmate John McVie. The first Fleetwood Mac album McVie contributed to as a full-time member was Future Games.

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Christine Anne Perfect was born on June 12, 1943, in Lancashire, England and spent most of her childhood near Birmingham. Her father was a concert violinist and music lecturer, while her mother was a psychic and faith healer. She also had a grandfather who played the organ for Westminster Abbey. She was trained in music from a young age but took a very serious interest in it at the age of 11.

She first trained in classical music but began moving towards the sound of rock and roll when she was inspired by a Fats Dominoe record. She continued playing rock and blues piano while studying sculpture at Mosely School of Art in Birmingham. She started a college band called Sounds of Blue with Stan Webb and Andy Silvester, but the group found much more success years later as the blues band Chicken Shack.

Chicken Shack had several hit songs that McVie performed lead vocals for, and she eventually left the band in 1969 after marrying the Fleetwood Mac bassist John Mcvie. She and McVie divorced after the promotional tour for their smash-hit album Rumours in the late-70s. Along with the success of the band, McVie recorded several well-received solo projects including her debut Christine Perfect which she made before joining Fleetwood Mac.

She had even been active this year, having just released the solo compilation album Songbird this past Summer. This included the song “Slow Down,” which she was first asked to record for the 1985 sports drama film American Flyers. It’s a great example of her vocal chops and songwriting ability, so check it out and the rest of McVie’s incredible work with Fleetwood Mac.

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