"> A future rock princess was born May 26th, 1948 to the name Stephanie Lynn Nicks , at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix Arizona to Barbara and Jess Nicks. Five years later, her younger brother Christopher Nicks was born. Stevie's keen interest in music and singing began at a very early age when she would sing with her grandfather, A.J. By a very young age she was already singing at bars with her grandfather, a struggling country singer.
Eventually Stevie and her grandfather stopped performing together when her parents began to dissaprove. To their surprise this would not stop Stevie(a name she picked up at an early age because she couldn't pronounce Stephanie). Stevie continued to love music/performing and on her 16th birthday her parents bought her first guitar.... then was when she wrote her very first song that evening called...."I have loved and I've lost."
In 1965, "Stevie" Nicks started high school at Arcadia High in the Los Angeles area of California. There she joined her first band called "The Changing Times" which was a tribute band to Bob Dylan.
In 1966 Stevie's family moved as they often did to Atherton, California. There Stevie attended Menlo-Atherton high school for her later high school years and it was there that she met Lindsey Buckingham, a move that would forever change her life. In 1968, Stevie's family would move yet again this time to Chicago, but this time Stevie stayed behind in California.
Stevie graduated and attended San Jose State University . Just before she was about to receive a degree in Speech Communication she dropped out. She had plans on becoming an English teacher but she left college behind and set out to start a musical career (THANK GOD!!)
Stevie and Lindsey joined a San Fransisco Rock 'N' Roll band in 1968 called "Fritz". It began their first professional career in the Bay area. The band opened for acts such as Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Chicago, CCR, and Jimi Hendrix. Stevie was very inspired by Janis, and continues to be. The band would play from down the Peninsula to Monterey and came back through the other side of San Francisco and then all the way to Sacramento. Eventually Stevie and Lindsey became the main attraction of the band, attracting a averagely strong following.
In 1971 the band finally broke up and Lindsey and Stevie still stayed musically involved and soon they began an intense romantic relationship. The couple moved to Las Angeles to pursue their musical dreams. In 1973 they landed a record deal with Polydor Records and made the "Buckingham Nicks" album. Stevie was still waitressing at this time for extra money, and Lindsey would stay home getting better at his music. This record, which Stevie and Lindsey wrote the songs for, is a musical masterpiece, never discovered by many. Unfortunately, Polydor Records had no interest in promoting the record and they dropped it from the label due to poor sales.
For a short time Stevie and Lindsey moved in with Richard Dashut whom they worked on during the Buckingham/Nicks album and Richard would pay Stevie $250.00 a month for cleaning his apartment every two weeks. Stevie's parents began to encourage her to set some limits on how long she would give her musical career and if it didn't work out they promised to pay for her to go back to school. Steve gave it six months.
Just three months later, Stevie and Lindsey received a VERY important life changing phone call. It was Mick Fleetwood , of the already establish English Blues/Rock band, Fleetwood Mac. The band needed a new guitarist, and Mick heard (by mistake) the Buckingham/Nicks record and liked Lindsey's guitar skills. Lindsey told the band that he and Stevie were a package deal. Fleetwood Mac, already having one female in the band (Christine McVie), felt no need for another. They wanted Lindsey bad enough so they took Stevie too!
The new lineup was as follows...Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine and John McVie,(Who were married at the time). Their first album together only took about three months to complete...It was called "Fleetwood Mac". Stevie's song "Rhiannon", became a huge hit and Stevie took on an ethereal stage persona. Stevie would eventually, for years to come, extend "Rhiannon" into a full on rocker. Often descibed as a "concert exorcism." Stevie's soft "Landslide" has become a worldwide classic, a song she always dedicates to someone at performances.
Her songs were a part of Fleetwood Mac's great success. The new Fleetwood Mac no longer sighed over having Stevie in the band. While the other songwriters had hits also, it was Stevie that would steal the shows, due to her intense stage persona. The album went to #1 and the tour was a success!
The second album was released in 1977, "Rumours". While the first was a hit, it was nothing compared to the phenomenal success of Rumours. Stevie's and Lindsey's relationship was at an end as well as Christine's and John's. The recording process of Rumours has been described as very tumultuous, and strained. The song "Dreams" was about Lindsey's and Stevie's break-up and it became the band's first number one hit.-----Stevie reached beyond the boundaries of an average singer/songwriter. She gained a HUGE fan base of devoted people, young and old. Stevie also graced Rumours with her haunting tune about drugs and relationships, "Gold Dust Woman." Many connected with this tune, because at the time Stevie was becoming the biggest female act in the world. Her black clothes and witchy pressence brought great attention to Stevie, not to mention her powerful lyrics, and haunting vocals.
"Rumours", would remain at #1 for weeks and weeks. The new album garnered many awards, (Album of the Year, etc.) and would go on to sell 25 Million copies worldwide (18 mill in the US) , one of the best selling albums in history.------------Fleetwood Mac became the biggest band around, and Stevie the hottest and most successful female around.
The only dissapointment Stevie had with Rumours was Mick Fleetwood's decision to cut her ode to then ex-lover Lindsey Buckingham, "Silver Springs," due to lack of album space. The song would later serve its purpose.
The next album, "Tusk" was very experimental. Lindsey began to feel as if he wasn’t getting the outlet he deserved for his musical talents…………..so the majority of Lindsey’s songs on “Tusk” were mostly done at his home and re-recorded with the rest of the band. Lindsey made it a point to NOT thrive on a good thing, and to not create a "Rumours II." Not that Lindsey didn't want the album to be successful, he just felt that a true band with real music would not intentially try to copy Rumours and intentially sell 25 mill records (like the Record execs wanted)
So, basically “Tusk” was a solo album, with a few Christine and a few Stevie songs. Stevie’s song she wrote about Don Henley, Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, and life ("Sara") became a huge U.S. hit. "Undoing the laces..." (a line in 'Sara') revealed Stevie's mysterious but sexual side, something that appealed to audiences. Stevie again showed her power on this album, while Lindsey's songs lacked the rock feel. Her ethereal and dark song "Sisters of the Moon," became another classic for Stevie.
Stevie's song "Storms" chronicalled her life, referring symbollicaly to her life as a "storm. Tusk would be a double album with 20 tracks (costing more). Of course, this experimental adventure did not match the enormous sales of Rumours. At this time, the whole Rumours album, even songs not released as singles, were getting mega-airplay. Tusk didn’t reach the #1 spot like Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, but it did make it to #4., and eventually went Double Platinum. After the release of Tusk, Fleetwood Mac would go on their biggest tour…………………Over a year long. The mammoth Tusk world tour was a huge success. After a year on the road, Fleetwood Mac was burned out, especially Stevie who was already expriencing trouble with her vocal chords.………
After “Rumours” and during “Tusk” Stevie had been contemplating a solo career. Stevie only, getting a max of 4 songs usually she wrote on each Fleetwood Mac album, was not getting the outlet she needed for her libraries of songs. Stevie had done some minor solo outlets, such as duets with Kenny Loggins, John Stewart, and Walter Egan etc. However, Stevie had never done it alone.
Record Executives created Modern Records just for Stevie’s solo work, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers producer Jimmy Iovine began producing “Bella Donna.” It was later that Fleetwood Mac actually learned of Stevie's solo outing. The band was on break from the Tusk Tour, but not Stevie. Jimmy called in for some other huge names in Rock, not to help Stevie, but to just spice her album up a little. Stevie did two duets for the album. One was done with Tom Petty (Stop Draggin My Heart Around) and one with Don Henley (Leather and Lace)
Fleetwood Mac learned of "Bella Donna" and at first they were infuriated. They felt that either way around the album would hurt Fleetwood Mac. Rumors of Stevie quitting Fleetwood Mac surfaced, and Stevie denied them.
”Bella Donna” was released and in September on 1981 it hit #1. Bella Donna was a HUGE success. It proved to everyone that Stevie had potential without Fleetwood Mac. Bella Donna showed the world the true talents of Stevie Nicks, "The Reigning Queen of Rock 'N' Roll" (Rolling Stone Magazine 1981). Even though Bella Donna spawned many hits (Leather and Lace #6, Stop Draggin My Heart Around #3, Edge of Seventeen #10, After the Glitter Fades #32) , and sold millions, Stevie had nothing to be happy about……..Stevie was never able to enjoy the success of her first solo album. She was told her very best friend, Robin Anderson, was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. To better worsen the news, Robin discovered she was pregnant. Stevie was torn to pieces. Robin eventually went into emergency C-Section and after the birth of her child, lost her battle with cancer. This loss tore Stevie apart emotionally, and even physically in some ways. Stevie felt Robin was the only one who "Truly" knew her, not just as the famous Stevie Nicks.
Stevie, being the prolific songwriter she was and still is, wrote the song “Gypsy” about Robin. Thinking of the baby, Stevie married Robin’s late husband, Kim Anderson. When the two shortly realized it wasn’t the best decision, they divorced….The Bella Donna Tour, was short but could’ve went on for months. Stevie cut it short, because her loyalty to Fleetwood Mac was so strong, something they finally began to realize.
She went in to record the next Fleetwood Mac album, “Mirage.” Less experimental, but still no “Rumours”. The recording process was less stressful, and at times less devoted. Mirage was released and hit #1 in 1982. The song Stevie wrote for Robin, “Gypsy” was a U.S. major hit, and Fleetwood Mac went on to the Mirage Tour. Stevie also graced the album with a rare duet with bandmate Christine McVie, "Straight Back," and the country-filled "I'm Alright."
Lindsey and Stevie, still not getting along, would fight often during these times. They were however able to maintain a working relationship, and not let it interfere with their music.
Fleetwood Mac would carry the pop/rock world through the 70s and 80s, being still in the 80s one of the biggest and most successful rock bands ever. Stevie, being with Fleetwood Mac and also juggling a solo career, was even labeled by Rolling Stone Magazine "The Queen of Rock and Roll."
After "Mirage," Fleetwood Mac would take their longest break ever, at that point, five years. During this five year period, Stevie would record 2 other very successful solo albums, and carry out successful solo tours. “The Wild Heart”(1983), and “Rock A Little”(1985). Stevie continued ruling the 80's as a solo artist, with MTV Videos and strong radio hits (Stand Back #5, Talk To Me #4, If Anyone Falls #14 , I Can't Wait #16 and Rooms on Fire #16). Stevie began doing things she never dreamed of, like performing on stage with Bob Dylan. She developed a strong name in the rock world, not only with Fleetwood Mac, but solo.
During this time Stevie’s strong cocaine addiction worsened……It had gotten to the point when Stevie would suffer nose bleeds off stage, and fall onstage occasionally . A doctor soon discovered a hole the cocaine had eaten through the cartilage of Stevie’s inner nose, and told her if she didn’t stop she could instantly have a brain hemorrhage. Stevie immediately, in 1986 checked into a 90 day rehabilitation at the Betty Ford Center. She came out, clean and sober. She would then be called back to an unexpected Fleetwood Mac get-together. Fleetwood Mac recorded “Tango In The Night”, which reached the U.S. Top Ten in 1987. This is a good for a band who had struggled with drugs, broken hearts, and more. The band felt it hard to follow-up "Rumours" success, so the only thing they felt they could do, was make good music. Stevie’s song “Seven Wonders”, co-written by friend Sandy Stewart, was a hit. The other songwriters also carried hits from this album……………Lindsey recorded the album, but after it’s release announced his departure from the band. The Tango in the Night tour would go on anyway. Billy Burnett and Rick Vito replaced Lindsey, and the tour went on successfully. Some fans, were not acceptant to a Fleetwood Mac without Lindsey, but Stevie gave them reason to show, like always.
Fleetwood Mac released a Greatest Hits package ( which has sold over 8 mill. copies) and Stevie began work on her fourth solo album, “The Other Side of the Mirror”, which was released in 1989. She was cocaine-free and ready to show the world her talents, AGAIN. This album, would be a bigger hit than her previous “Rock A Little”, which carried one of her biggest singles “Talk To Me.” The song from the new album, “Rooms on Fire” was a radio hit, and the video received good airplay on MTV and VH1.
After her departure from the Betty Ford Center in 86, Stevie went to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed Stevie to the drug, Klonopin. He gave her the drug to calm her cravings for cocaine, and Stevie eventually became addicted to Klonopin. Her addiction happened over a slow period of time, but her physical condition worsened, and it was noticable. The drug made Stevie lathargic, and caused her to be tired, and less energetic, which fans could strongly notice.
After The Other Side of the Mirror tour, Stevie would go in to produce her first Fleetwood Mac album without Lindsey, “Behind the Mask” in 1990. The album with the two new members, would reach nowhere near the success of Rumours or any other of there post 1975 albums, only going Gold (500,000), a disappointment in the eyes of the Record Company. The tour did as usual show to be faithful. The new lineup was still entrancing audiences, and it was of course Stevie who mainly stole the shows, with her ethereal pressence and now husky and raspy voice. As the years passed Stevie's voice began to deepen, and lost much of the range it had in the 70's. Still fans weren't disappointed, they loved her anyway. Often called a witch, for her witchy stage attire, Stevie has always stated that rumor was false.
In 1991 Stevie would decide to release a Greatest Hits package of her solo work titled: “Timespace.” Stevie wanted to include her song she wrote about ex-lover Lindsey Buckingham, “Silver Springs” which wasn’t put on Rumours due to lack of album space. Mick Fleetwood would not let Stevie put the song on her album because he felt it would affect album sales of their soon to be released box set (which would contain the song).
So Stevie announced her departure from Fleetwood Mac. During this time, Stevie would continue to develop a dependency on the prescription drug, Klonopin. The drug caused Stevie to be tired and gain weight. After “Timespace”, Stevie began work on her solo album, “Street Angel." In 1993 Fleetwood Mac buried the hatchet and joined together, Lindsey too, to perform Bill Clinton’s campaign theme song, “Don’t Stop,” at his Inaugural Ball.
After this Stevie released her least successful solo album, “Street Angel.” The press seemed more focused on her weight rather than her talents, which some say weren't so evident on this album. Production of the new album caused Stevie problems, and even Stevie didn’t like the album aferwards. After the Street Angel tour, Stevie realized her addiction and checked into Exodus Drug Rehabilitation Center, and kicked her prescription drug habit. Stevie said this was much harder than kicking cocaine.
In 1996 Stevie decided she would drop the weight, and started the Dr. Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet, which she still uses today to maintain her weight. Stevie dropped 35 lbs, and was in better shape than she had been in a while. Stevie began exercising and soon gained that onstage power from the 70s she often lacked in the late 80s.
In 1996, after not talking to Lindsey since the Inauguration, Stevie and Lindsey joined for a duet for the “Twister” motion picture soundtrack, the song “Twisted”, written by Stevie. After this Stevie and Lindsey would realize they could put the past behind them and continue a musical friendship. Lindsey, working on a solo album, brought Mick, John, and Christine into work on it. This work would lead into a new Fleetwood Mac project, after they all realized how mature they had gotten. In May of 1997 the lineup that made them huge, Fleetwood Mac performed to a Invite-Only Reunion Concert, for MTV.
The concert aired on VH1, and PBS. The taped concert would soon be turned into a live CD, entitled “The Dance," and live VHS and DVD video. The band performed new and classic songs. The feeling was there, the inspiration had gone nowhere after all. This reunion made Fleetwood Mac, who was facing a possible dive into the history books forever, a classic rock band turned new. The band kept their original style, and Stevie and Lindsey began singing to eachother in such passion that it's undescribable.
Fleetwood Mac gained new fans and round back up the old fans. Fleetwood Mac, was again, on top of the world. The new live album would reach #1, at the peak of their 20th yr. Anniversary of Rumours. The band was back together, and better than ever. All the band members became friends again, and graced the world. The album was a huge hit, and the U.S tour was completely sold out!!
Stevie's "Silver Springs," finally had found its place. When she performed the song at their reunion concert, she showed the world her true intensity and power. “The Dance” would go on to sell 5 million, and go down into history as an extraordinary and unexpected comeback. The tour was reduced to only the U.S. due to English singer/songwriter/keyboardist/pianoist Christine McVie's desire to not stay on the road "too long."
Stevie’s songs “Landslide”, and “Silver Springs”, taped from the concert, would become U.S. Radio hits, and received great airplay on VH1. Stevie had finally gotten what she wanted from her masterpiece "Silver Springs," which was even nominated for a Grammy in 1998.
After the tour Stevie went in to release a 3-CD box set, “Enchanted,” for her last release with Modern/Atlantic records. Stevie's once again found love for music, hadn't stopped. Her 3-CD Box Set was released in April of 1998, and Stevie immediately went on a successful U.S. Solo tour. "Enchanted" would go Gold in a year, which is great for a $45 3-CD Retrospective. Stevie was back, and with more energy and passion than ever. She was singing and touring, doing what she loves. Her devoted fans all showed up, crowded arenas and amphitheatres, some dressed in their own Stevie-like attire. Women, and some male fans, continue to dress as Stevie when they attend her shows.
A Night Of A Thousand Stevie's is held annually in New York. Hundreds show up to show there love for Stevie. Other events like it, such as The Wild Heart Affair and the Bella Donna Ball still continue annually.
Today Stevie is back and better than ever! Her new cd, "Trouble in Shangri-La" was released on May 1st, 2001 in the U.S. and shot to the #5 position on Billboards Top 200 Albums Chart its first week, and #1 on the Top Internet Album Sales Charts.
Stevie's success again, as a solo artist, peaked. Her song from Trouble in Shangri-La "Planets of the Universe," was remixed as a dance number and shot to #1 on Billboards Dance-Club Play Charts. Stevie has had the chance to work with some of music's top artists on this one like : Natalie Maines, Sheryl Crow, Lindsey Buckingham, Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray and more. Stevie didn't do this to create the "Santana effect," of popularity. These artists stick to the sidelines, making it a true Stevie collection of new material. Stevie's love for music, and her adoring fans shines on her new album. This is Stevie's most personal and best crafted album since her first, "Bella Donna."
Stevie embarked on a massive North American tour (started on July 6th 2001), and still continued to grace her audiences. She had some respiratory troubles on her "Trouble in Shangri-La Tour," but she nevers fails, once she is well again to give 150%. Her fans love her and they show it; packing in arena's and theatres all over the country, just to see the "Rock and Roll Princess."
She's back, and after her solo tour, she went back into the studio to record with Fleetwood Mac, minus Christine McVie who has retired now. Stevie is 55 yrs. old and has more desire and passion than she did 15 years ago. Her bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, is now married and has children, so his and Stevie's past relationship is 100% over (some may disagree.) However, the passion in the songs they wrote about eachother, still comes out on stage.
Stevie Nicks has the right to be proud of her latest solo effort, "Trouble in Shangri-La," which sold over 500,000 copies in a month. The album gave Stevie a Grammy-nomination and #1 hit with Planets of the Universe remix on the Club Circuit.
Now, Stevie is back soaring again with Fleetwood Mac. Their current album "Say You Will," debuted at #3 and has sold around 800,000 copies. The band is now on an extensive world tour, wooing audience of all ages across the world. At 55 years old, Stevie Nicks is still the Queen of Rock 'N' Roll. Written By : Chris McLeod
If you see any statistical errors, email me and I will correct it. Thanks!