The members of Fleetwood Mac have released a joint statement honoring their longtime friend and bandmate Christine McVie.
The British vocalist and keyboardist died Wednesday at a hospital after experiencing “a short illness,” her family announced. She was 79.
“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” the Fleetwood Mac statement said.
“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.”
Drummer Mick Fleetwood and singer Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac also shared personal tributes to McVie on their Instagram accounts.
“This is a day where my deer sweet Friend Christine McVie has taken to flight… and left us earthbound folks to listen with bated breath to the sounds of that ‘song bird’ … reminding one and all that love is all around us to reach for and touch in this precious life that is gifted to us,” Fleetwood wrote. “Part of my heart has flown away today. I will miss everything about you Christine McVie. Memories abound.. they fly to me.”
In a handwritten letter, Nicks revealed that she did not know McVie was sick “until late Saturday night.” Upon receiving the news, Nicks attempted to travel to London to see McVie, but was “told to wait.”
“A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away,” Nicks wrote.
“Since Saturday, one song has been swirling around in my head over and over and over. I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her, and so, I’m singing it to her now. I always knew I would need these words one day (written by the Ladies Haim).”
Nicks concluded her message with lyrics from the Haim song “Hallelujah” and a final farewell:
“I had a best friend / But she has come to pass / One I wish I could see now / You always remind me / That memories will last / These arms reach out / You were there to protect me / Like a shield / Long hair running with me / Through the field / Everywhere / You’ve been with me all along / Why me? / How’d I get this hallelujah / Why me? / How’d I get this hallelujah / Why me? / How’d I get this hallelujah … See you on the other side … my love. Don’t forget me — Always, Stevie.”
McVie was known for her contributions to several of the rock band’s most popular songs, including “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Songbird,” “Hold Me” and “Little Lies.” Surviving current and former members of Fleetwood Mac include Nicks, Fleetwood, Mike Campbell, Lindsey Buckingham and McVie’s ex-husband, John McVie.
“I am so sad to hear of Christine McVie going on to heaven. The world feels weird without her here. What a legend and an icon and an amazing human being. RIP,” singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow tweeted.
“One of the greatest rock voices ever,” comedian and podcast host Marc Maron tweeted. “Both as a singer and songwriter. RIP.”
“Gutted to learn about the passing of Christine McVie,” rock band Garbage tweeted. “Just gutted. Songbird forever.”
“So so sad to hear about Christine McVie an artist I held dear and close to my heart,” John Taylor of Duran Duran tweeted. “One of the greatest all time songwriters, singers, and band members, she radiated both purity and sass in equal measure, bringing light to the music of the 70s.”